Employee meal allowance – Lawsuit

Employees in state institutions (education, health, etc.) who are assigned to jobs as: cleaners, janitors, burners, maintenance technicians, they are entitled to a minimum wage.


The employer is obliged to pay the minimum wage to the employee in the amount determined on the basis of the decision on the minimum labor price valid for the month in which the payment is made.


In addition to the right to a minimum wage, the employee is entitled to reimbursement of expenses and other benefits prescribed by law, such as reimbursement of expenses for food (so-called employee meal allowance) and recourse for the use of holiday allowance.


Furthermore, all benefits to which the employee is entitled (basic salary, hot meal, holiday pay, past work, overtime work, etc.) should be separately stated in the payslips that each employee must receive each month from the employer’s accounting department.


In practice, it happens that the school, as an employer, does not show especially stated compensations in the name of employee meal allowance and holiday vacation in its payslips, justifying it by the fact that the Serbian Law on Salaries in State Bodies and Public Services stipulates that the coefficient contains compensation in the name of holiday allowance.


However, when you take into account the amount that employees in these sectors receive, it is easy to conclude that they are usually paid only the minimum wage, without a provided meal. If the employee meal allowance and holiday allowance were included in the coefficient, that coefficient should be higher, so that when the employee meal allowance, recourse (and other salary compensations) is deducted from the total amount paid, the employee is left with a “just” minimum salary.


In addition, if we deducted from the amount paid all costs (including holiday allowance and employee meal allowance), salary compensation and other benefits, the employee would be left with an amount less than the minimum wage, which is unacceptable and contrary to the provisions of the Serbian Labor Law.


For that reason, employees have the right and opportunity to demand payment of a employee meal allowance and holiday allowance. This fact is proven in court proceedings by the presentation of evidence by an expert witness by a court expert in economics and finance, who must determine the difference between what was paid to the employee and what he was entitled to under the Law.


In such cases, the Serbian Labor Law does not differentiate between a fixed-term employee and an indefinite employee, and all employees with a minimum wage are entitled to reimbursement of these costs, regardless of whether the period of their engagement is limited or not.


Finally, what we especially note is that the right to claim sums of money in labor law expires in 3 years, so the statute of limitations is terminated by the date of filing a lawsuit in the competent court.


Our law firm successfully represents clients in all labor disputes, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.