The A 11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights submitted a petition to the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Issues to amend the Rulebook on Forms Used in the Procedure for Exercising the Right to Financial Social Assistance due to the fact that it is not compliant with the Law on Simplified Work Engagement on Seasonal Jobs in Certain Activities.
Namely, the existing Rulebook applied by the Centers for Social Work throughout Serbia is inconsistent with the Regulation on Incomes and Revenues that Affect the Realization of the Right to Financial Social Assistance, which is based on Article 89, paragraph 3 of the Law on Social Protection adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. Inconsistency in the Rulebook relates to the classification of income generated from seasonal work as income affecting the realization of financial social assistance, even though the said income is not specified in the above Regulation.
Since the Law on Social Protection gives the Government the authority to prescribe incomes and receipts affecting the realization of the said right, the Rulebook, which contradicts the content of the Regulation, is also in violation of the Law on Social Protection.
In addition to the aforementioned indirect inconsistency present in our legal system since 2011, when all the aforementioned legal acts were passed, the Rulebook is also in direct conflict with the Law on the Simplified Work Engagement in Seasonal Jobs in Certain Activities (Law on the Seasonal Work) since 2018. The calculation of seasonal income when deciding on an application for exercising the right to financial social assistance is in conflict with Article 9, paragraph 3 of the aforementioned law, which unequivocally excludes the possibility of the seasonal income affecting the realization of this right.
By applying the Rulebook breaching the Law (and by ignoring the Law), the Centers for Social Work have been violating rights of all current and potential beneficiaries of financial social assistance repeatedly. Likewise, the aforementioned practice results in the violation of the legal system unity and the hierarchy of legal sources considering the fact that the Law prevails over the Rulebook.
When we pointed out to the Centers for Social Work that this kind of behavior is illegal, they either shifted the responsibility or ignored completely our observations, which is why we decided to submit a petition to the competent minister in charge of labor, employment, veteran and social issues.
The low amount of financial social assistance forces beneficiaries to perform additional work, and the only regulation that recognizes this social reality is the Law on Simplified Work Engagement on Seasonal Jobs in Certain Activities.
In addition to contributing to a more coherent legal order, in the event of exclusion of the seasonal income from incomes and receipts affecting the financial social assistance, the competent Ministry would also show sensitivity towards the disadvantaged position characteristic of beneficiaries of the right to financial social assistance, which is reflected in the necessity of choosing between financial social assistance of 10,385 dinars for an individual and occasional seasonal jobs for a daily wage of about 2,000 dinars.