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Expert Meeting “Common Practice Problems in Peaceful Dispute Resolution Procedures” Held

21. 10. 2019.

The expert meeting “The most common problems in practice in the procedures for peaceful settlement of labour disputes” organized by the Social and Economic Council of the Republic of Serbia, was held on Friday, October 18, 2019. The expert meeting was organized with the aim of introducing to the expert public the most common problems in practice in the procedures for peaceful settlement of labour disputes, and especially the collective labour disputes and to harmonize the practice of the conciliators and arbitrators of the National Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes. Senior representatives of the line ministry for labour employment, veterans and social affairs, Minister and Chairman of the Social and Economic Council of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Zoran Đorđević, State Secretary Bojana Stanić, top representatives of social partners, Zoran Stoiljković from UGS “Nezavisnost” as well as representatives of the Union of Serbian Employers, Association of Independent Trade Unions of Serbia, Director of the National Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, Mile Radivojević and conciliators and arbitrators of the Agency, as well as representatives of the Permanent Working Body for Collective Bargaining and Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes and the Permanent Working Body for legislation attended this expert meeting. Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs and Chairman of the Social and Economic Council of the Republic of Serbia, Zoran Đorđević opened an expert meeting where he emphasized that the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes finally performed its true role during previous years, which the Government of Serbia had actively advocated for. He pointed out that the existence of the Agency is of great interest for all our citizens and the state, but also vital for social dialogue, since this dialogue was one of the priorities of the Government of Serbia. He pointed out that in the previous period we had an amendment to the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, which expanded the Agency’s capacities to operate and passed the Code of Ethics for Conciliators and Arbitrators for the first time. He also pointed out that conciliators and arbitrators were very dedicated to their work and emphasized that it was necessary and that if they encountered certain problems during their work, they should present the same to the competent ministry, and conferences like this were just an opportunity to do so that that certain amendments to laws and by-laws could be made to make them more efficient. According to him, this year the Agency had twice as many cases as compared to last year, and even 10 times more than in the period from 2010 to 2014. As he pointed out, the Agency saved time and money, and did well for our citizens. Director of the National Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, Mile Radivojević presented the data on the Agency’s work since the beginning of this year, according to which 2,194 proceedings were solved before the Agency to date, 32 of which accounted for collective and the rest accounted for individual disputes. Out of more than 2,123 individual disputes, 2,098 were related to material disputes, six were related to employment termination, 15 disputed were related mobbing. 1,796 were resolved, of which 946 were related to payment of expenses for coming and going from work, 679 to payment of wages and salaries, 77 disputes were related to reimbursement for manufacturing during work and 12 disputes were related to jubilee awards”, said the director, adding that 230 proceedings were ongoing, and that most of the settled labour disputes were resolved to mutual satisfaction - both by the employer and the employee. “These data are in favour of the fact that the Agency becomes more recognizable in the system of labour and legal protection over time, and in time it will be even more recognizable and better”, he concluded. Council member and president of UGS “Nezavisnost” Zoran Stojiljkovic said that the Agency wass very important as an institution of modern democratic industrial relations and attempts to reduce conflict tensions and costs of industrial conflicts, as well as to reach a solution in a way that was institutionalized by mediation and arbitration.