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New Regulation on Preventive Measures for Safe and Healthy Work to Avert the Occurrence and Spread of Infectious Disease Epidemics

The Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs passed the Regulation on Preventive Measures for Safe and Healthy Work to Avert the Occurrence and Spread of the Infectious Disease Epidemics (the “Regulation”), which was published in the Official Herald of the Republic of Serbia on 3 July 2020 and became effective on 11 July 2020.

The Regulation was passed on the basis of the Law on Safety and Health at Work; the labor inspection is responsible for monitoring its implementation.

The protection of the general population from infectious diseases used to be governed solely by the Law on Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases, which applied only to certain categories of business entities, whereas this Regulation prescribes measures applicable to all employers in the Republic of Serbia that are required to comply therewith whenever an infectious disease epidemic is declared.

The Regulation applies to all job positions in work settings where work is performed, other than work in the field, and work from home.

Pursuant to the Regulation, all employers are required to pass a plan for the implementation of measures to avert the occurrence and spread of any infectious disease epidemic, which plan is an integral part of the risk assessment made in accordance with the law and regulations governing the area of occupational safety and health.

The Regulation provides that such a plan of implementation of measures must contain (i) preventive measures and activities necessary to avert the outbreak of infectious diseases; (ii) responsibility for the implementation and control of the implementation of preventive measures and activities; and (iii) measures and activities necessary for dealing with contagious disease epidemics.

In addition to the obligations set for employers, the Regulation also provides certain obligations for employees at their workplace in the event of any infectious disease epidemic.

The Regulation contains misdemeanor offenses for noncompliance that are punishable by fines, namely (i) for legal persons ranging from RSD 800,000 to RSD 1,000,000; (ii) for entrepreneurs ranging from RSD 400,000 to RSD 500,000; (iii) for the responsible person of the employer ranging from RSD 40,000 to RSD 50,000; and (iv) for employees ranging from RSD 10,000 to RSD 20,000.

Employers are required to harmonize their operations with the Regulation, i.e. to adopt a plan for the implementation of measures to avert the occurrence and spread of the infectious disease epidemics, within 30 days as of the effective date of the Regulation, i.e. by 10 August 2020.

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