Practice confirms the Agency to be the right address for all who think they are exposed to mobbing

27. 10. 2022.

Referring to the case of a female employee of the Water Supply Public Utility Company (PUC) who believed she was exposed to mobbing, which attracted media attention [more on the link](('smatram-da-sam-premestena-po-kazni'-samohrana-majka-tvrdi-da-je-bila-zrtva-mobinga-tri-posla-za-tri-meseca-smanjen-koeficijent-i-plata-ogla) it was yet again confirmed that the Agency is the right address for all who think they are victims of mobbing.

The female employee of this company filed a proposal for peaceful settlement of the labor dispute before the Agency believing that she was exposed to mobbing. Following provisions of the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes the Agency sent the proposal to the other party, the employer, i.e. the Water Supply PUC in Lazarevac, for consent. The employer agreed to resolve the case peacefully, in line with the recommendation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia given in Conclusion 05# 116-8060/2015 ("Official Gazette RS" Vol. 67/15), by which the public sector, i.e. all institutions and organizations financed from the budget are advised to resolve all collective and individual labor disputes through the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes.

After two hearings, the employer and employee showed a high level of responsibility to resolve all disputed issues, and agreement was reached on all points of dispute. It was concluded that individual legal documents of the employer governing the rights and obligations resulting from the labor relationship could not be used for the protection of rights relating to abuse at work, but that misunderstanding of several aspects was still present. All disputed issues were resolved in a constructive dialogue and intention to produce pleasant working atmosphere without disturbed interpersonal relationships. Eventually, the parties reached an agreement which was confirmed by arbitration decision.

In September of the current year another case of a female employee of a court who believed she was exposed to mobbing at the work was also resolved before the Agency. She filed her proposal to the Agency and the Agency forwarded it to the employer for consent. The employer agreed to have the case resolved peacefully before the Agency. Only one discussion was sufficient to resolve all disputed issues and bring the procedure to an end for the general good with mutual apologies and handshakes. After that, the acting arbitrator chairing the discussion concluded the procedure with consent of both parties.

The examples of our cases only illustrate and confirm that the Agency is the right address for all who believe to be exposed to mobbing. The procedures are a good alternative to the Law on Prevention of Abuse at the Work or lengthy judicial proceedings.

Resorting to the 2018 Amendments to the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes the Agency resolves the cases by making an effort to reconcile the parties and reach a mutually acceptable solution for behaviors and relationships that a person may experience as mobbing, or conflict or misunderstanding. In order to normalize relationships in the working environment, promote good working atmosphere, avoid lengthy court procedures and additional deterioration of relationship with the employer, the Agency resolves these procedures by reaching an agreement between the parties which is subsequently confirmed by a legally binding and enforceable arbitration decision. It is praiseworthy that an increasing number of employers and employees recognize advantages of this procedure and trust the Agency, contrary to lengthy court proceedings.