Everything you need to know about hiring people with disabilities
The employment of persons with disabilities in the Republic of Serbia is regulated by the Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities. The mentioned law clearly defines persons who can achieve the status of a person with a disability on the basis of numerous criteria.
An unemployed person with a disability is considered to be any person who is between 15 and 65 years old, has no employment relationship, nor has exercised the right to work, who is actively seeking employment and is on the register of unemployed persons in the local employment organization.
What are the rights and obligations of people with disabilities?
A person with a disability has the right to determine the status and assessment of working ability, as well as to encourage employment, work and social inclusion. In the labor market, the law promotes equal opportunities, the prohibition of all forms of discrimination and gender equality. Persons with disabilities also have the right to measures and activities of professional rehabilitation and to employment under both general and special conditions. The latter implies a special adaptation of the workplace and work tasks so that the person with a disability can freely meet the requirements of the workplace.
Also, the law covers measures of active employment policy, employment in specially organized forms of employment and employment of persons with disabilities.
When we talk about obligations, a person with a disability has a duty to respond to the call for assessment of working ability and determination of status, to get involved in professional training, to actively look for a job and to accept professional rehabilitation. She should cooperate with professionals during professional rehabilitation, be ready to accept active employment policy measures and to accept employment if the opportunity arises, and in accordance with her professional abilities.
Encouraging the employment of people with disabilities
The local employment organization is responsible for encouraging the employment of persons with disabilities. This organization should provide the maximum when it comes to the implementation of measures and activities of professional rehabilitation, as well as the encouragement of self-employment and employment of persons with disabilities.
What is vocational rehabilitation?
Vocational rehabilitation is a broad term. It includes the organization and implementation of measures and activities aimed at training for a suitable job, employment, job maintenance, advancement in an existing job or a career change. It also includes career guidance, professional information, counseling and monitoring of the individual employment plan, additional training, retraining, as well as various other programs to improve labor and social integration.
If a person with a disability is employed, he / she has the right to leave during the duration of professional rehabilitation and his / her employment cannot be terminated due to that leave.
Moreover, an employee with a disability during the rehabilitation is entitled to a salary compensation in the amount of 100% of the average salary earned in the previous three months before joining this program, and the salary compensation cannot be less than the minimum.
He is also entitled to financial assistance for the duration of the program, for transportation costs for himself and his companion, if any, in the amount of non-taxable amount in accordance with the law, or in the amount of 20% of the minimum wage, provided that this program is performed for a period of at least 100 hours and if the person with a disability is not a beneficiary of another cash benefit based on disability.
Obligation to employ persons with disabilities
Every employer with 20 to 49 employees would have to have one person with a disability in employment. For 50 or more employees, you are required to employ at least two people with disabilities. For every next 50 employees started, there is another employee with a disability. The exception is newly established employers, who do not have this obligation for 24 months from the day of establishment.
If the employer does not employ persons with disabilities, he is legally obliged to pay the amount of 50% of the current average salary per employee in Serbia for each person with disabilities he did not employ. On the other hand, if he decides to employ a person with a disability who is employed under special conditions, he may exercise the right to reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of adjusting the workplace for the employment of that person.
Finally, if an employer employs an indefinite person with a disability who has no work experience, he or she will be entitled to a wage subsidy for that person for a period of up to 75% of the total wage costs, including compulsory social security contributions, but no more from the minimum determined in accordance with labor regulations.
The Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities prescribes a fine of 200,000 to 1 million dinars in case the employer does not employ a person with a disability, or 10,000 to 50,000 dinars for a responsible person in a legal entity, and fines range from 5,000 to 400,000 dinars for entrepreneurs. Tax inspectors are responsible for the implementation of punitive measures.
These are just some of the most important items that we have singled out from the Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities in Serbia.
If you have additional doubts regarding this topic or you need professional help – feel free to contact us via the form on the website, phone or email.