Date: 19/03/2021

Roundtable devoted to the Agency Employment Law, one year on

One year after the Agency Employment Law took effect, AmCham’s HR Forum and Labour Law Committee partnered with Adecco Serbia at a roundtable to discuss the impact of this piece of legislation and the experiences of employers, employment agencies, and government bodies

The panellists were officers of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans’ and Social Affairs, Snežana Bogdanović, head of the Labour and Employment Legislation, Research, and Analytics Division and Gordan Marković, head of the Second Instance Procedures Division for Employment and Occupational Health and Safety at the Labour Inspectorate, together with Siniša Simić, Legal Affairs Manager at Adecco Serbia. The discussion was moderated by Nikola Milosavljević, Chairman of the AmCham HR Forum and Dragana Bajić, attorney-at-law and Chair person of the AmCham Labour Law Committee.

At the very beginning of the event, the panel agreed that the law aimed at aligning temporary agency employment with directives of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the EU. The law regulated conditions for agencies to operate, established rules of conduct, and broadens the range of rights enjoyed by agency workers, the panellists noted. The Labour Inspectorate related its experiences with mostly preventive action to ensure compliance with the law, with fairly few complaints lodged by staff hired under temporary agency employment rules.

The moderators highlighted the fact that many workers had been moved back to employment through youth co-operative associations after the Agency Employment Law took effect. Companies using these arrangements faced much lower costs than those which followed the law consistently, it was said. Youth co-operative associations came under the remit of the Ministry of Economy, the panel agreed, and thus it was necessary to review rules so as to prevent abusive practices such as the hiring of individuals ineligible for membership in students’ and youth co-operatives for work that was neither temporary nor casual.

One year was too short a time to make a comprehensive assessment, the panel noted, and concurred that the full impact of the law would be revealed only in time. Quotas were also discussed, together with the justification for increasing them, as were the Ministry of Labour’s plans to amend labour and employment law.

Click here to see video of the panel.