Activities

06. February 2024.

On Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at the premises of the Agency in Belgrade, an agreement was signed between the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes and the office of provincial ombudsperson. Agreement was signed by Assoc. Prof. Dr Dragana Ćorić, the Provincial Ombudsperson, and Dr Ivica Lazović, the Agency Director.

On the occasion Dr Lazović pointed out that the agreement will contribute to better and more efficient protection of labor rights of all employees on the area of AP Vojvodina. At the same time, he highlighted the advantages for workers and employers resulting from the resorting to this extrajudicial method of settlement of labor disputes in comparison to conducting time-consuming and expensive judicial proceedings. Dr Lazović underlined that it is necessary for all of us together to actively promote peaceful settlement of labor disputes.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Dragana Ćorić, the Provincial Ombudsperson, confirmed that the agreement will enable faster and easier resolution of labor disputes with assistance of conciliators and arbitrators while simultaneously getting higher level of protection of the labor rights on the province level. She concluded her presentation saying that in addition to citizens, it is also important that employers, as the stronger party in disputes, also understand and acknowledge advantages associated with this concept.

31. January 2024.

On Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at the Niš City Hall, the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes signed a Cooperation Agreement with the office of regional ombudsperson in Niš. The Agreement was signed by the regional ombudsperson in Niš, Katarina Mitrovski and the Agency Director, Dr Ivica Lazović. Dragana Sotirovski, the Mayoress of the City of Niš also attended the agreement signing.

On this occasion, the Agency Director, Dr Ivica Lazović, expressed his appreciation of the recognition of importance of the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes shown by the citizens of Niš and its surroundings by a large number of cases conducted before the Agency. At the same time, Dr Lazović underlined that it is necessary to promote extrajudicial mechanisms of protection of workers rights so that a larger number of people can learn about the benefits associated with them. He presented the work and competencies of the Agency to the audience briefing them on the results achieved in the previous period.

Dragana Sotirovski, the Niš Mayoress, pointed out that this agreement will benefit the citizens enabling faster, easier and more efficient resolution of labor disputes assisted by conciliators and arbitrators, without resorting to judicial proceedings, while employees will get a higher degree of protection of their rights on the local level. Katarina Mitrovski, the regional ombudsperson for the City of Niš also recognized that resolution of disputes before the Agency is much cheaper for the City and for individuals alike.

31. January 2024.

for protection of labor rights before the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes were presented. The conference was organized within a project representing a part of "Initiative for Global Solidarity" of the German Development and Cooperation Ministry implemented by the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) in cooperation with International Labor Organization (ILO) in Serbia.

As at the previous conference, Dr Ivica Lazović, the Agency Director introduced the audience to the work and competences of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes. A large number of representatives of unions from the Nišavski District and south of Serbia had an opportunity to learn more about alternative mechanisms for protection of labor rights and opportunities to implement these mechanisms.

Using examples from practice, Dr Lazović illustrated efficiency and effectiveness of solutions for resolving labor disputes before the Agency. In continuation, the participants had an opportunity to ask questions and join the discussion in order to understand the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes better and resolve all concerns of our citizens.

In addition to the above, in her presentation, Jelena Čanović Spasojevic from the Law School of the University of Kragujevac provided an opportunity for participants to learn about the application and content of new regulations on due diligence in supply chains, importance of these for their companies and trade unions organizations; Danijela Ristovski from the office of Commissioner for Equality Protection talked about protection from discrimination. The event was also attended by high union representatives, Zoran Marković on behalf of SSSS, and Miloš Miljković of behalf of UGS "Nezavisnost".

26. January 2024.

On the meeting entitled "CAF Open Day in Serbia" held on January 25 in Novi Sad, the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes received a prestigious certificate of quality acknowledgment, the "Effective CAF User Label". The Director of the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA), Maja Handjiska-Trendafilova, awarded the Certificate to our Agency. This institution in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-government of the Republic of Serbia organized the event.

On the occasion, it has been pointed out that the Agency is the first institution in the Republic of Serbia awarded this certificate and the second in the Western Balkans, so that its contribution to the promotion of quality enhancement through the self-assessment process is very important. Reaching the level of excellence in delivery of services to our citizens and business sector is the priority of the public sector. The Agency is one of good examples that confirms its mission by commitment. The CAF process of quality promotion was implemented in the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes in accordance with all prescribed guidelines, while the activities have been systematically monitored along with continuous measurement of effects of the applications.

Dr Ivica Lazović, the Director of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes thanked the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-government of the Republic of Serbia, Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA), KDZ organization and external consultants for their generous support without which this achievement would not be possible. He emphasized that this certificate is only a beginning, and that the Agency must continuously work on the promotion of their own services to meet requirements of its beneficiaries. Dr Lazović also said that the Agency will work more intensively on the promotion of the CAF model of quality management among other institutions since this can be beneficial to all.

In addition to the Agency representatives, the list of speakers included Čedomir Rakić, the state secretary in the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-government of the Republic of Serbia, Maja Handjiska Trendafilova, Director of the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA), Nick Thijs on behalf of OECD SIGMA, and many others. This event gathered a large number of CAF practitioners from region and the EU who actively discussed on advantages of implementation of the CAF model of quality management in institutions of the Western Balkans countries.

17. January 2024.

On Wednesday, January 17, 2024 the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes signed a Cooperation Agreement with local ombudsperson for the City of Kragujevac. The Agreement was signed by the Agency Director, Dr Ivica Lazović, and local ombudsperson for the City of Kragujevac, Jelena Milivojević. The signing was also attended by Miroslav Petrašinović, a member of the Kragujevac interim administration and Gordan Damnjanović, member of the interim administration commission.

On the occasion Mister Lazović noted that it was very important to establish cooperation between public bodies to be able to respond to needs of the citizens better and more efficiently. He also pointed out that procedures for peaceful settlement of labor disputes should be promoted more and explained better to our citizens because employees do not appreciate them enough. When employees experience a labor dispute they regularly address the court, and only few resort to alternative methods such as conciliation and arbitration. In continuation, Dr Lazović introduced the audience to the work and competences of the Agency and highlighted the advantages brought about by peaceful settlement of labor disputes in comparison to judicial procedures.

The local ombudsperson for the City of Kragujevac, Jelena Milivojević, points out that labor disputes are quite common in judicial practice of Kragujevac, especially in the public sector, and that citizens should be directed to alternative methods of labor dispute settlement, which will be promoted by the current agreement.

Finally, a large number of attending representatives of unions and employees of local companies had an opportunity to ask questions and resolve all concerns about initiating and conducting the case before Agency.

17. January 2024.

On the fourth conference on appeals mechanisms which was held in Kragujevac on January 17, 2024, possibilities for protection of labor rights before the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes were presented. The conference was organized within a project representing a part of "Initiative for Global Solidarity" of the German Development and Cooperation Ministry implemented by the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) in cooperation with International Labor Organization (ILO) in Serbia.

The Agency Director, Dr Ivica Lazović, introduced the audience with the work and competences of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes. A large number of representatives of unions from whole Šumadija had an opportunity to ask questions and resolve all concerns about possibilities that these mechanisms offer.

Dr Lazović presented some examples illustrating efficiency and effectiveness of solutions in cases resolved by the Agency. In continuation, the participants had an opportunity to ask questions and join the discussion in order to understand the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes better and resolve all concerns of our citizens.

10. January 2024.

The Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes adopted a program for special expertise improvement of conciliators and arbitrators for the year 2024.

The program of expertise improvement aims at continuous promotion of skills and knowledge, as well as streamlining the practice of conciliators and arbitrators in the area of peaceful settlement of labor disputes, which is an important prerequisite for further development of the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes in practice, and thus effective labor law protection in the Republic to Serbia.

This Program plans for two training courses for conciliators and arbitrators, as well as special individual trainings. In 2024, in addition to these courses, the Agency will organize other courses with expert support of the International Labor Organizations (ILO) and German Cooperation in Serbia (GIZ). These organizations jointly implement the project entitled "Provision of adequate approach to appeals mechanisms for workers in the automotive, electrical and textile industries in Serbia".

You can download the program of special expertise improvement for conciliators and arbitrators for the year 2024 by clicking on LINK.

25. December 2023.

The second interactive and also the final training for conciliators and arbitrators this year was held on December 25, 2023 at the "Serbia" Palace. In addition to a large number of conciliators and arbitrators, social partners and representatives of the International Labor Organization also participated at the training.

The meeting was opened by the Agency Director, Dr. Ivica Lazović, who thanked the conciliators and arbitrators for their continued committment to improvement and regular attendance of all trainings organized by the Agency. He used the opportunity to inform those present about the current developments in the Agency and at the same time announced future activities of the organization.

Nebojša Đuričić, judge of the High Court in Belgrade, Vesna Dušić, judge of the Court of Appeals in Novi Sad, and Dr Bojan Božović, judge of the High Court in Novi Sad, introduced conciliators and arbitrators to the current judicial practice in the field of labor disputes. In continuation of the agenda, an exceptional lecture on collective bargaining was held by Prof. Dr. Senad Jašarević from the Faculty of Law in Novi Sad, who put special emphasis on current cases of conducting collective negotiations in the world and in our country, pointing out both the good and bad practices.

Finally, a panel discussion was organized by members of the Standing Working Body for Collective Bargaining and Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes of the Social and Economic Council of the Republic of Serbia on the topic of collective bargaining and the possibility of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes to contribute to collective bargaining. The panelists, among whom were representatives of both representative unions, Aleksandar Marković from SSSS and Dragica Mišljenović from UGS "Nezavisnost", as well as Jelena Jevtović from the Union of Employers, tried to determine through analysis and discussion how the crisis can be overcome and awareness raised on the need for collective bargaining. Conciliators and arbitrators had the opportunity to ask questions and actively participate in the discussion.

22. December 2023.

Upon invitation of the Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes of Montenegro, the Annual Training for Conciliators and Arbitrators of Montenegro was held in Podgorica on December 20 and 21, 2023, attended by representatives of the Public Institution (PU) Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes of the Republic of Srpska in addition to the delegation of our Agency, representatives of trade unions and employers in Montenegro, as well as regional representatives of the International Labor Organization.

The training was opened by Enesa Rastoder, Director of this Agency, who indicated the importance of the work of the Agency for Montenegro, but also the existence of institutions for the peaceful resolution of labor disputes in the region and long-term good cooperation. Representatives of the Association of Free Trade Unions and the Association of Employers confirmed the tripartite spirit of these institutions to those present. Velibor Mikać, Director of the PU "Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes" from Banja Luka, and Ivica Lazović, Director of our Agency, also gave welcome speeches.

In the two-day working part, which was rich in panel discussions, numerous topics were covered, such as: (1) Experiences from the region on the importance and role of peaceful settlement of labor disputes, with a special overview of the practice of the Federal Conciliation Service of the United States of America, (2) case studies of peaceful settlement of labor disputes in Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, (3) collective labor disputes - the difference between individual and collective labor disputes – practice, (4) negotiation skills, (5) the importance of dialogue, lessons from practice, (6) regulations on due diligence in the EU, (7) IT systems for conducting procedures, digitization and practices, and (8) open questions regarding application of the Law. Many lecturers participated in the presentation of topics, some of them are Prof. Dr Živko Kulić, Dragana Andonovska, MSc Milica Kovač Orlandić, MSc, Svetlana Barović, Milanka Mrdak, Armin Bećiragić, Tatjana Bakić, Dr Jovan Protić, Dr Enesa Rastoder, Velibor Mikać, Dr Ivica Lazović and Jovana Borjan.

The visit to the Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes and learning about the current practice of dispute resolution in Montenegro, as well as the presentation of current practice in the field of resolution of labor disputes in the Republic of Serbia, were important for all participants, bearing in mind similar practical problems and issues they face in practice. At the meeting, several conclusions were agreed on with the aim of general improvement of dispute resolution and improvement of the quality of the overall operations of these institutions.

11. December 2023.

The agreement on cooperation with the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, which was signed at the "Business and Human Rights" conference on December 11, 2023, in the House of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, will create a basis for special cooperation in the field of protecting the labor rights of minority communities and vulnerable social groups. The memorandum was signed by the Agency Director, Dr Ivica Lazović, and the Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, Tomislav Žigmanov.

The agreement defines the goals, areas and steps of future cooperation. The agreement signatories stated that there was plenty of room for encouraging social dialogue in the area of protecting the labor rights of minority communities and vulnerable social groups through alternative mechanisms for resolving disputes and exchanging experiences related to the protection and improvement of human and minority rights in the area of labor.

The Conference on Business and Human Rights is supported and organized by UNDP and the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, and represents the first step towards wider implementation and recognition of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other relevant mechanisms. It attracted a large number of participants and panelists from Serbia and the European Union, representatives of state institutions, private sector, trade unions, various UN organizations, university professors and many others.

On the panel entitled "Protection of human rights in the corporate world", the director of the Agency, Dr. Ivica Lazović, spoke about the possibilities for the protection of labor rights before the Agency. He informed the participants about the competences of the Agency, its work so far and emphasized the importance of promoting the concept of peaceful resolution of labor disputes both among employers and among workers and trade unions. Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to ask questions to the panelists and participate in the discussion.

Through open exchange of opinions and discussions, the conference pointed out the need for additional attention in the protection of human rights, including the labor rights. At the same time, it pointed out the importance of developing partnerships between relevant institutions, including state institutions, independent bodies, trade unions, business associations, civil society organizations and academic community.

07. December 2023.

A two-day conference of the network of agencies for peaceful settlement of labor disputes on "Innovation, Learning, Action: Answers to Formalization and Better Working Conditions" was held in Tirana, Republic of Albania, from December 5-6, 2023. The conference gathered a large number representatives of institutions from Serbia, Albania, Greece, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia that pursue peaceful settlement of labor disputes as well as inspections, employment and labor relationships. Union representatives attended, as well. The conference was also attended by high officials of the International Labor Organizations and representatives of the academic sector from Germany, Belgium and Greece.

The conference was opened by Ada Huibregtse, the main technical advisor (ILO), Claire Harasty, DWCT /CO Director from of Budapest (ILO), Fiona McCluney, UN coordinator from Albania and Olta Manjani deputy minister of economy and finance of the Republic of Albania.

Dr Ivica Lazović, Director of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes, was one of the panelists who talked about the Agency operations and importance of the ESAP2 project as a catalyst of regional cooperation. He pointed out the benefits of the network of agencies for peaceful settlement of labor disputes and highlighted the importance of sharing experiences with colleagues from the region underlying that this was the road to follow in the future in order to make progress.

The conference paid significant attention to the need for development of regional cooperation in the field of social dialogue establishment and promotion. The participants also dealt with the issues of role and influence of digitization and artificial intelligence on the labor relationships, reforms in minimal wage policies, issues of seasonal and informal work, as well as the issues of safety and health at work.

The whole event was organized as a part of the Employment and Social Affairs Platform 2 project (ESAP 2), which is a regional project financed by the European Union and implemented by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Regional Cooperation Board. The ESAP 2 project is also a means for providing support of the International Labor Organization team to the countries Western Balkans aimed at improvement and development of the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes.

06. December 2023.

The third consecutive conference on appeals mechanisms organized within a project representing a part of the "Initiative for Global Solidarity" of the German Developmental Cooperation implemented by the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) together with International Labor Organization (ILO) in Serbia was held is December 6, 2023 in Valjevo. Representatives of leading unions as well as of employers from the region attended the conference.

Dragana Andonovska, head of the Agency team for legal and operational affairs, introduced the participants to the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes as an external mechanism that is employed once all internal mechanisms for resolution of disputes within companies have been exhausted. She presented Agency competencies, particularly highlighting the mobbing, but also underlined advantages of resolving disputes before the Agency over the corresponding judicial procedure. Participants were given an opportunity to ask questions and resolve all concerns related to procedures before Agency.

In addition to the Agency representatives, speakers at the conference included representatives of leading trade unions, office of the commissioner for equality protection and many others.

30. November 2023.

At the annual conference of the Regional Associations of Mediators of Vojvodina which was held on November 30, 2023 in the provincial Chamber of Commerce competences and mandate of our Agency were presented. The conference was attended by a large number of mediators and experts in the field from the whole region.

The Agency Director, Dr Ivica Lazović, pointed out the importance of cooperation between the Agency and organizations that pursue mediation because they shared the same goal, i.e. promotion of the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes which had been shown repeatedly to be more efficient than the judicial procedure. He introduced the audience with the Agency competencies, practice pursued so far and key indicators of operational success.

Meetings like this one are aimed at mediator networking, sharing of experiences and practices, and competence promotion, but also promotion of the process peaceful dispute settlement itself. Special importance was also reflected in the international character of the conferences illustrated by participation of colleagues not only from Serbia, but also from Croatia, North of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

29. November 2023.

Traditional visit of the senior students of the Faculty of Law, University in Belgrade who opted for a course on labor law to our Agency was organized at the Palace of Serbia on November 29, 2023. The visit took place as a part of the already signed cooperation agreement with the Faculty of Law, University in Belgrade and led by Prof. Ljubinka Kovačević, LLD and Assoc. Prof. Filip Bojic, LLD.

The event was opened by the Agency Director, Dr Ivica Lazović, who expressed satisfaction in the long-term cooperation between the Agency and the institutions of higher education. He pointed out that the Agency door was open to students who wanted to pursue the concept of peaceful settlement of labor dispute as a topic of their professional interest, as well as to those who wanted to complete their internship at the Agency.

The presentation provided the legal framework in which the Agency operated, its competencies, comparative practice and pertinent statistical data. In continuation of the visit, Lazović talked about current events related to the operations of the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes.

Dragana Andonovska, a senior adviser at the Agency, introduced the students to examples from the Agency cases settled so far. She showed how, when all parties involved show good will, even some of the most complex labor disputes can be resolved amicably avoiding extensive time-consuming judicial procedure. Jelena Golubović, another Agency adviser, acquainted the participants with digitization processes and digital transformations in the Agency.

This opportunity to learn about the Agency was concluded with an open discussion with the students in which they asked questions and presented own opinions and dilemmas about alternative ways to resolve labor disputes in the Republic to Serbia.

21. November 2023.

The Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes was awarded a prestigious CAF Effective User Certificate as the first institution in the Republic Serbia fulfilling the required quality standards.

The certificate was awarded by the Regional Quality Management Center that is a part of the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA). The Regional School of Public Administration is a joint organization of the Western Balkans countries and EU, founded in order to promote cooperation and public administration as reliable and efficient services for citizens and economy, especially in the process of accession to the EU.

With this certificate the Agency commitment to achieving excellence in operational processes, improvement of the quality work and provision of services to the citizens and economy are acknowledged.

The Common Assessment Framework (hereinafter: CAF) is a special, adapted EU model of quality management in public administration. It is a self-assessment tool used jointly by the management and employees to analyze and identify own strength and areas for improvement. The final goal is to achieve excellent results and influence the users, citizens and society alike.

The quality management system has been implemented in the Agency since 2022 on the basis of the "Agreement on Implementation of the CAF Quality Management Model" in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-government and the EU project entitled "Support to Public Administration Reforms".

After the CAF quality management model has been established and successfully applied, the Agency addressed the ReSPA Regional Quality Management Center applying for assessment and certification. After the external CAF procedure for external feedback (the so-called PEF procedure) was conducted by an international commission, the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) decided to support recommendations of the independent evaluators (EFAC – External Feedback Actors),) and award this prestigious recognition to the Agency. This certificate is awarded for a three-year period, and according to the data of the European Institute for Public Administration (EIPA), the CAF quality system certificate is held by only about 4000 organizations globally.

The agency is proud to be the first in Serbia to receive this prestigious recognition which also obliges us to pursue the continuous work on promotion of services for our users. Application of the CAF model has shown us our areas for improvement and provided us with tools for improvement, and also enabled us to identify strength of our institution.

The Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes acquires the right to use special stickers and logo "CAF Effective User, CAF Excellence Label", while the official certificate award by ReSPA will be organized subsequently.

You can find the complete report HERE

20. November 2023.

In the process of peaceful settlement of a collective labor dispute at the “Zavod za udžbenike” Public Enterprise, which was conducted regarding the right to unionization and pertinent actions, the issues between parties to the dispute were resolved and the Agreement was signed. The procedure was raised upon initiative of the “Zavod za udžbenike” Union and both parties agreed to appoint Živko Kulić as the acting conciliator.

At the first hearing, following the letter of the law, the acting conciliator set up the conciliation committee composed of the parties to the dispute and acting conciliator. After three hearings, a recommendation was signed on how to resolve the collective labor dispute, and accordingly, the agreement was reached settling all disputed issues.

Having decided to resort to the process of peaceful settlement of labor dispute in line with a recommendation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the employer at the “Zavod za udžbenike” Public Enterprise and “Zavod za udžbenike” Union illustrated how a social dialogue between employees and employer can result in proper, amicable solution.

17. November 2023.

Upon advice of the employer, the National Bank of Serbia, proceedings were initiated for peaceful settlement of labor dispute before the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes. The other party in the dispute, the Workers Union of the National Bank of Serbia, agreed to resolving the dispute peacefully. Subject of the dispute was related to unionization and pertinent activities at the employer’s organization.

In line with the law, the Agency director appointed Miljko Valjarević as the acting conciliator. At the first hearing he set up the Conciliation Committee composed of the parties to the dispute and acting conciliator.

In the course of negotiations, parties to the dispute showed a high degree of understanding for presented suggestions as well as a high degree of mutual appreciation. After the hearings, a common recommendation was mutually agreed upon, advising on the way to resolve all disputed issues. It was signed by representatives of the parties to the dispute and acting conciliator.

The employer and trade union in the National Bank of Serbia followed the recommendation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and resorting to the procedure for peaceful settlement of labor disputes set an example of willingness to take part in the social dialogue, all in order to come up with compromise solutions that are acceptable to all parties.

15. November 2023.

The second conference on appeals mechanisms was held on November 15, 2023 in Novi Sad. A multitude of union and employer representatives attended the presentation on opportunities for protection of labor rights before the Agency as an external protection mechanism. The conference was organized within a project that is part of the "Initiative for Global Solidarity" of the German Developmental Cooperation implemented by the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) together with International Labor Organization (ILO) in Serbia.

Miloš Prokić, an Agency advisor, introduced the audience to the Agency operations and competencies, and how the procedures were initiated. In his presentation he is especially highlighted the advantages of the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes and the need to ease the burden faced by courts with about 40,000 new cases of this type annually. In continuation of the session, all participants were given an opportunity to ask questions and join the discussion.

In addition to the Agency staff, representatives of leading unions, a representative of the Commissioner for Equality Protection and many the others also took part in the event.

08. November 2023.

A delegation of the Republic North of Macedonia visited the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes in the period from November 8 to 10, 2023. The aim of the visit was to learn about the system for labor dispute resolution in the Republic Serbia and apply good practice of our Agency within the reforms of labor legislation relating to alternative resolution of labor disputes that are ongoing in their country. The five-member delegation was composed of representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, representatives of mediators and International Labor Organization, namely Maja Papatolevska, Radmila Loškovska, Nataša Mečkaroska Simjanoska, Ilija Manasiev and Emil Krstanovski.

The Agency Director, Ivica Lazović, introduced the guests to the legal framework for peaceful settlement of labor disputes in the Republic Serbia and good practices, while Dragana Andonovska, head of the Legal Affairs Group talked about special training programs for conciliators and arbitrators, as well as about the fees, expenses and remuneration of conciliators and the arbitrators for their work. Jelena Golubović, an Agency advisor presented the process of digitalization in the Agency and the use modern IT resources. Miloš Prokić, another Agency advisor, introduced the guests to innovative services and raising the visibility of mechanisms for alternative dispute resolution. The guests also had an opportunity to directly talk with Agency conciliators and arbitrators about specific cases they deal with in practice.

The Agency is very proud of this high interest in ours practice and working model, as well as the fact that the Republic of North Macedonia is the fifth country in the region that is interested in our model of peaceful settlement of labor disputes and is considering the possibility of its implementation in their own legal system. A new law on peaceful settlement of labor disputes is currently being drafted in this country and experiences from this study visit will be used in proposing the future solutions.

03. November 2023.

On November 3, 2023 the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes in Belgrade organized a workshop for conciliators and arbitrators on reconciliation and mediation in labor disputes - conflict management approaches and mediator skills. The event took place on the Agency premises. The workshop was led by Milena Tasić, an Agency mediator and arbitrator, in order to share her knowledge and skills acquired on the certified online course run by the International Labor Organization and their Training Center from Turin.

Dr. Ivica Lazović, the Agency Director, opened the workshop and on this occasion pointed out the cooperation with the ILO contributing to realization this seminar and emphasized the importance of continuous education of conciliators and arbitrators. At the same time Lazović introduced the conciliators and arbitrators to activities currently implemented by the Agency.

The attending conciliators and arbitrators were able to learn about the latest ILO practices in conflict management. The participants also had an opportunity to learn about standards and principles applied by the ILO in conciliation and mediation, as well as about the approach to the reconciliation and mediation process from the standpoint of the International Labor Organization.

Conciliators and arbitrators were also given the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the discussion, to present own perspective on some situations and dilemmas which they encountered in practice.

01. November 2023.

At the first in a series of conferences on appeals mechanisms, held on November 1, 2023 in Subotica (Palić), mechanisms for protection of rights before the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes were presented highlighting the options we provide. The conference was organized within project that is a part of the "Initiative for Global Solidarity" of the German developmental cooperation implemented by the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) together with the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Serbia.

Before the large audience of representatives of employers and unions, the Agency Director, Dr Ivica Lazović, presented the concept of peaceful resolution of labor disputes as an external mechanism resorted to once all internal mechanisms to reach the settlement within companies were exhausted. He presented the Agency competencies and pointed out the efficiency and effectiveness of out-of-court resolution of labor disputes. The participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and in the discussion get answers related to the dilemmas they encountered.

In addition to the Agency representatives, the participants were also addressed by representatives of the leading trade unions, a representative of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality and many others.

31. October 2023.

In a public debate entitled "German law on due diligence in the supply chain - importance for human rights in Serbia" which was held on October 31, 2023 in the Assembly Hall of the City of Niš, the Agency Director participated as one of the panelists and talked about the possibilities for protection rights of employees before the Agency.

Dr Boban Džunić, chairperson of the Assembly of the City of Niš, Sanela Bakhtijarević from the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ), Tanja Lindel from the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, Aleksandar Todić from the Nezavisnost (Independence) United Branch Trade Unions (UHS Nezavisnost), Danijel Dašić from the National Coalition for Decentralization, and Nataša Vučković from the Center for Democracy Foundation, as well as representatives of the business sector, trade unions, public institution, civil society organizations, academic community, media, etc. participated in the discussions.

Public debate encourages open and constructive dialogue among relevant actors in order to share opinions and experiences; responsible business practices are promoted together with raising awareness and knowledge about pertinent regulations.

The German law on due diligence in the supply chain came into force in January 2023, while the European Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive is still being discussed in the European Union. The law stipulates that the German companies require that their direct and indirect suppliers to apply a series of regulations and standards aimed at the protection human rights and environment, including the setup of appeals mechanisms. In the area of appeals mechanisms for the protection of workers’ rights, arbitration and conciliation before the Agency represent a very efficient external mechanism.

The debate was organized within a project that is a part of the "Initiative for Global Solidarity" implemented by the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit).

18. October 2023.

On October 18, 2023, the Director of the Republic Agency for the Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes, Dr. Ivica Lazović, and the Mayor of Zrenjanin, Dr. Simo Salapura, signed an agreement on cooperation between the Agency and the City of Zrenjanin.

This agreement envisages cooperation in areas such as the exchange of experiences related to the labor law position of employees, information on the application of regulations and practices of competent authorities in the field of labor law, cooperation in the implementation of national and international projects, the organization of expert consultations, seminars, and the exchange of expert knowledge, as well as the use of modern technologies in business.

Dr. Ivica Lazović emphasized the possibility of cooperation and exchange of experiences in the field of quality management, considering that the Agency had been working on the implementation of the CAF quality management model for two years. Also, the contribution that the Agency can provide in the field of peaceful settlement of labor disputes, both individual and collective, which are inevitable in today's work of almost all institutions, was highlighted. At the same time, advantages that this type of resolution of labor disputes in relation to court proceedings have ben pointed out.

The signing of the agreement was also attended by Milan Pekić, Director of the Office for Combating Drugs of the Republic of Serbia and Gorak Rakić, Attorney General of the City of Zrenjanin.

09. October 2023.

At the XXV professional-scientific consultation of the Association for Labor Law and Social Insurance, which was held at Zlatibor from October 4 to 7, 2023, with “Labor Law in Regulations and Practice” as the main topic of the consultation, recognition was given and a certificate of appreciation was presented to the Agency Director for long-term cooperation, fellowship and help in the promotion of this Association.

The Director of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes had the honor of opening this consultation. In his introductory speech, he emphasized the enormous importance that the Association has for the development of labor law science, practice in the application of regulations, enormous journalistic activity that is reflected in over fifty volumes of published works, as well as for connecting experts from the entire region who practice labor law. Director of the Agency, Ivica Lazović, emphasized the importance of the Association for the Agency, because in fact its most prominent members are conciliators and arbitrators, and this Association is also the address where professional and scientific answers to many practical dilemmas are sought.

In the working part of the consultation, Mr. Lazović presented a report on "Institutions for peaceful settlement of labor disputes in regulations and practice (examples of USA, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Republic of Srpska and Serbia)" in which he introduced the participants to the comparative practice of peaceful resolution of labor disputes state, with special reference to the differences in regulations, competences, techniques and technology used in peaceful settlement of labor disputes.

At the round table discussion on "Resolving labor disputes in practice (judicial and non-judicial methods)", the participants of the consultation had the opportunity to hear the latest case law in the field of labor disputes settlement, but also to ask questions, participate in the discussion and see the advantages that out-of-court methods of resolving labor disputes carry.

The consultation brought together a large number of experts dealing with labor law from Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Srpska and the Federation of B&H, North Macedonia, and also, for the first time at this gathering, representatives of the National Institute for Conciliation and Arbitration of the Republic of Bulgaria as special guests. Thematic areas of the Consultation covered the entire matter of labor law through the prism of all labor law concepts and practices in the resolution of labor disputes. Presenters, moderators and other practitioners were all distinguished experts from the country and abroad (professors of labor law from all our universities as well as from prestigious universities in the region, eminent judges from all court instances, experts involved in drafting and monitoring of legal acts, other experts engaged in state institutions and bodies, representative trade union organizations, arbitrators and conciliators of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes, lawyers and others).

02. October 2023.

Within the project that is a part of the "Initiative for Global Solidarity" of the German development cooperation, implemented by the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ), and organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Serbia, on October 2, 2022 a training on harmonization of business operations with due diligence regulations took place in Belgrade.

Before the audience composed of a large number of representatives of employers and trade unions Dr. Ivica Lazović, the Agency Director, presented the concept of peaceful settlement of labor disputes as an external mechanism that is resorted to when all internal mechanisms for resolving disputes within companies have been exhausted. He presented the competences of the Agency and highlighted the efficiency and effectiveness of resolving labor disputes out of court.

In addition to the Agency Director, the attendees were addressed by Brankica Janković, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Tanja Lindell from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Peer Krumrey from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia and many others.