Seminar in the area of civil law – labour law

In cooperation with the Centre for Education of Judges and Prosecutors in the Republic Srpska, the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation IRZ – Stiftung organised a seminar in the area of civil law – labour law.  The seminar was held in the hotel ‘Monument’ Mrakovica on 25 February 2011.

At the invitation of the organisers, the representatives of Association ‘Vaša prava Bosnia and Herzegovina’ also took part in the seminar, when they delivered a presentation entitled ‘Implementation of the labour regulations in the Republic Srpska in BiH from the perspective of the employee legal representatives’

In the introduction, the IRZ-Stiftung Project Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Stefan Purner stressed the need to improve and harmonise the labour regulations with the European legislation and EU Labour Guidelines.

In its presentation on the subject ‘Protection of labour rights in the court practice in the Republic Srpska’, the President of the High Commercial Court of the Republic Srpska, Mr. Bogdan Gajić, indicated that the labour disputes involving the fixed term appointments posed the biggest problem in the District Court Banja Luka.  Mr. Gajić also noted a recent increase in incoming cases, i.e., disputes involving termination of employment, compensation claims for owed salary arrears and pension and disability insurance contributions, transfer to another employer and several cases involving mobbing.

The Executive Director of Association ‘Vaša prava Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Mr. Emir Prcanovic highlighted another problem area involving increasing employment contract terminations in the event of maternity leave, offers to sign the contracts under changed circumstances from the aspect of the right to severance package, etc.

Dr Karolina Mihaljevic-Schulze, a lawyer from Berlin, spoke on the subject of ‘Labour case law in Germany with reference to the most significant practical matters’, when she emphasized that the German Federal Labour Court assumed the position that the notice of warning of termination prior to the actual employment termination was permissible only in exceptional cases.  Ms. Mihaljević-Schulze also noted that, among others, one of the most frequent cases, i.e., reasons for terminating employment contracts in Germany recently had been the use of internet (facebook and similar portals) at work place.  The German Federal Labour Court considers that the notice of warning of termination in such cases of internet use is not necessary.  There are also many cases of mobbing, but due to the complexity of such disputes, there is no uniform or clear position in Germany in that respect.

The seminar generated great interest among the participants and they agreed to further the cooperation in addressing the labour problems and organise another seminar on the same or similar topic.