Since “Together Together” for citizens, started operating in 2014, it has noted an increase in the number of people seeking information, advice and assistance in the field of labor rights.
Out of the 212 people who asked for advice, interpretation, or writing briefs, 166 people approached us regarding violations of labor rights – 78.30 % (wrongful termination of the contract of employment, unpaid wages, blanket dismissals, the right to a holiday).
Family law was involved in 13.20 % of cases (28 users).
A much smaller amount of cases was recorded in issues of: mobbing and discrimination based on sexual orientation – 4.71 % (10 citizens); 6 internally displaced persons came to us because of lack or ill-treatment of institutions in conducting their cases – 2.83 %, and one citizen regarding criminal law, as well as regarding purchase Agreement – 0.48 %.
Therefore, the difficulty in achieving the rights guaranteed by law in the sphere of labor is an area which the “Together Together” legal team usually deals with. Undeclared work, wrongful termination of the contract of employment, signing blank notices of dismissal, and unpaid wages are usual problems faced by employees.
Very illustrative are cases of workers from three companies who contacted us personally on behalf of their colleagues.
SK came to us with the first case concerning 29 workers who had been working for a company for years, but were only being reported as employed for three months out of each year. This was a case concerning the right to health insurance through employment. The individuals were reported on the basis of the contract of employment concluded for a fixed period, providing that such an agreement lasted several years. The workers were impeded from exercising their right to health insurance because their employer was falsely recording their contracts as three months in duration in order to avoid paying into contributions.
The second case was reported by JM and GJ for another 25 colleagues. They are filling a grievance because their employer did not pay their compensations, contributions and earnings. The employer against whom a case of bankruptcy was previously started owed wages and contributions for an average 3 years period to the 25 employees. The bankruptcy proceedings were suspended after some time, and the company had been granted reprogram as a solvent entity. After the termination of the bankruptcy proceedings, the employer did not settle the claims brought forth by the employees. Many of the employees were not able to exercise their right to a pension, because they missed the period of service for which the employer did not pay. During this time the employer has opened another firm which was successfully running normally.
The third case was reported by BL and LM on their own and behalf of another 8 colleagues. The firm they worked for was currently in bankruptcy proceedings, and workers were demanding the payment of unpaid wages and benefits. They are interested in exercising their right to a wage of a certain amount from the Solidarity Fund.
Our legal team is actively working on the aforementioned cases.
Legislation is interpreted to the users and they are referred to the competent authorities and necessary briefs are prepared.
We cooperate with 20 non-governmental organizations across the country to promote the Services of legal aid or to have their users forwarded to us.
Read the article in Serbian here