SERBIA: How to organise working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Work from home is increasingly becoming a common way of doing business for a large number of employees, due to the current pandemic and possibility of spreading the infectious disease Covid-19.

Working from home (hereafter: home office) is one of legally defined methods of work, only if it is feasible to organise, taking into account nature of work and the actual employee work responsibilities.

Having in mind that home office is defined by provisions of only one article of the Labour Law, common practice shows that numerous questions arose for rights and responsibilities of the employee, rights and responsibilities of the employer, controlling of employee work and safety and health at work.

In order to define the employment status of an employee working from home, it is necessary for the employer to conclude an annex to the employment contract with the employee, which will determine the following legally relevant issues:

  1. duration of working hours according to work norms;
  2. supervising the work and the quality of the employee’s work;
  3. work means for performing the tasks that the employer is obliged to provide, install and maintain;
  4. use and utilization of funds for the work of the employee and reimbursement of costs for their use;
  5. reimbursement of other labour costs and the manner for defining them;
  6. other rights and obligations.

The basic right home-based employee is entitled to is the right to a basic salary that cannot be determined in a smaller amount than the basic salary of an employee who works on the same job at the employer’s premises.

Additionally, the employee is entitled to the right to safety and health at work, and the employer is obliged to provide good working conditions, without risk to physical and mental health, to take care of organizing the work and to provide work equipment needed to perform work duties (if the employee does not own it).

Regardless of the fact that work from home is not under the direct control of the employer, this type of work can be covered by the act of risk assessment at the workplace and in the work environment, with a precise description of the work process and risk assessment of injuries and / or health damage environment and risk mitigation / elimination measures.

Given the many concerns faced by both employers and employees regarding the organization of home office work, the Directorate for Safety and Health at Work has issued a Guide to Safe and Healthy Work, which can be found here

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