OPINION ON COMPLAINT ABOUT DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE AND EMPLOYMENT

No. 07-00-00542/2018-02  date: 18.1.2019.

 

OPINION

This opinion was given in the complaint procedure filed by M.J., against HC “B” and G.M., director of HC “B.”. The complaint states that M. J. was employed at HC “B.” for a fixed term from July 2014 to December 20, 2017, as a substitute for employed colleagues until their return to work and due to the increased volume of work, and that in June 2016 she learned that she is pregnant, and that at the beginning of July 2016, her maternity leave began, and on December 19, 2017, she asked the employer to “extend the leave based on the findings of a paediatrician, which was not accepted”. However, the complainant alleges that on May 16, 2018, she was summoned to work at HC “B”, but on the same day she received a notice from the lawyer that she could not continue her working engagement, as the legal deadline of 24 months has been exceeded. In the statement of the Health Center “B.” it was specified that M.J. was hired at HC “B” for a fixed term due to the increased volume of work for a total duration of 24 months. They clarified in the statement that, according to provisions of the Labour Law, a fixed-term employment, due to a temporary increase in the volume of work, can be contracted with the same employee for the same or different jobs for a maximum period of 24 months continuous or with pauses. They further stated that the complainant could be hired for a permanent job only with the approval of the Commission for granting consent for new employment and additional working engagement at beneficiaries of public funds. In this regard, HC “B” repeatedly addressed the aforementioned Commission in the period from 2014 to July 2018, asking the approval for the employment of a radiology technician, but there was no answer to any of the requests, and without the consent of the Commission there is no possibility to permanently hire a radiology technician. In this regard, the Commissioner contacted the Commission for granting approval for new employment and additional working engagement at beneficiaries of public funds, which confirmed the allegations of HC “B.” During the proceedings it was established that the reason why the fixed-term contract with M. J. was not extended, that is, the reason why she was not permanently employed at the HC “B.” was not related to the leave of absence for child care during 2016 and 2017, that is, to her family status, but rather to the fact that the employer could not conclude a new fixed-term contract with her, because they would thus exceed the legal deadline prescribed in Article 37, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Labour Law. Also, the employer was not entitled to permanently employ the complainant due to the fact that the HC “B”, as a beneficiary of the budget funds, did not receive approval for recruiting new persons from the competent commission. Due to all of the above, and after due procedure, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality gave the opinion that HC “B.” and G. M., Director of the HC “B.”, did not violate the provisions of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination.

    COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY
Brankica Janković
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