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Termination of Employment Contracts in Serbia

1. Grounds for Termination

An employment contract can be terminated by force of law, unilaterally, or by mutual agreement of the employer and employee.

2. Collective Dismissals

The employer is obliged to prepare a redundancy programme in cooperation with the national employment service and the representative trade union, if, due to technological, economic or organizational change within the period of 30 days, it plans to terminate:

  1. 10 of its employees, provided it employs more than 20 and fewer than 100 employees on an indefinite-term basis;
  2. no fewer than 10% of its employees, provided it employs no fewer than 100 and no more than 300 employees on an indefinite-term basis; or
  3. at least 30 of its employees, provided it employs more than 300 employees on an indefinite-term basis. A programme is also required in the event that the employer plans to terminate at least 20 of its employees within a period of 90 days.

3. Severance Payment

The employer is obliged to pay a severance payment in the event of redundancy, in the amount established by the labour act, the amount set forth in its general labour-related enactment or individual employment agreement, whichever is higher.

The employee is entitled to statutory severance in the case of retirement.

4. Protection against wrongful termination

The employee may initiate litigation for wrongful dismissal within 60 days from the date of delivery of the decision on termination. If the employee successfully challenges the legal grounds for termination, the court may order the employer either to reinstate the employee to work and compensate him or pay damages to the employee.

5. Void Dismissal

The employer may not unilaterally terminate employment of certain categories of employee:

  1. a pregnant employee, employee on maternity leave, child care leave and special child care leave;
  2. a member of a trade union, merely due to his/her status of activities in trade union.
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