The Labor Law prescribes that every employee has the right to an appropriate salary, which is determined in accordance with the law, the general act and the employment contract. At the same time, all employees who work for a certain employer must have the same salary for the same work or work of the same value which they perform for that employer.
The right to salary is regulated in detail in the Labor Law. In connection with this right, and with the concept of salary in general, a lot of questions can be asked. One of them is the right to increased salary, which will be explained in this text.
It is indisputable that every employee has the right to a salary for the work that he performed and the time he spent at work. The term salary in this sense, in addition to the basic salary, also includes the salary for work performance, but also the increased salary.
Therefore, in the situations prescribed by law, the employee has the right to increased salary, which means that the employee is paid a larger amount of money, all in the prescribed manner.
Elements for determining the increased salary must be specified in the employment contract, and any change of these elements may be a reason for the employer to offer the employee the conclusion of an annex to the employment contract, which you can read more about in our text Annex of the employment contract.
Who has right to the increased salary?
Every employee is entitled to an increased salary. However, the Labor Law clearly defines when an employee has this right.
Also, the Labor Law prescribes certain percentages of increase that can be used in certain situation. The base for the increase calculation is the basic salary of the employee.
In that sense, the employee has the right to increased salary in the following situations and in the following percentage:
- for working on a holiday that is a non-working day – at least 110% of the basic salary
- for night work – at least 26% of the basic salary. The employee has this right only if the employer did not evaluate the fact that the employee will work at night when he was determining the basic salary.
- for overtime work – at least 26% of the basic salary
- on the basis of time spent at work for each full year of work performed in the employment relationship with the employer, i.e. for past work – at least 4% of the basic salary. The increase of salary on this basis is also calculated if the employer does not exist anymore, all due the status change. In that case, time which employee spent working for the previous employer is calculated when the new employer (successor) calculates increased salary for the past work that employee has performed for him. Of course, this rule applies only if the employer is a legal entity.
We emphasize that the increase of the salary cannot be less than the percentage prescribed by the Labor Law, but it can be higher, of course, if the employer makes such a decision. This interpretation is in accordance with the provision of the same Law, according to which a general act and employment contract may determine greater rights and more favorable working conditions for the employee than the rights and conditions established by law, as well as other rights not determined by law.
Of course, it is possible for an employee to have the right to an increased salary on several grounds prescribed by law. For example, on a holiday, he worked a night shift. In that situation, the percentage of the increased salary cannot be lower than the sum of the percentages prescribed for each of the bases of the increase. Therefore, in the above example, the percentage of increased salary is at least 52% of the basic salary.
What to do if the employer refused to pay an increased salary to the employee?
The employer is obliged to pay an increased salary to the employee if all the stated legal conditions are fulfilled. If, in that situation, the employer refused to pay the employee an increased salary, it is clear that he has denied one of the rights which is guaranteed to the employee by law. In that case, the employee has right to file a lawsuit to the competent court, requesting from the court to oblige the employer to pay him the appropriate amount of money in the name of increased salary.
Because this is a labor dispute, the employee can file a lawsuit in the court that is competent for the area where the employer has a residence, i.e. headquarter, if it is a legal entity, as well as in the court in whose area the work is performed or was performed.
We emphasize that the employee can file this lawsuit within three years from the date of the occurrence of the employer’s obligation, because after the expiration of this period, the employee’s claim becomes obsolete.
Certainly, we recommend that the employee hire a lawyer in the process of seeking the increased salary, all for the purpose of drafting a lawsuit and representing his interest in court.