Income or salary represents the fundamental motivation for every employee. It is the most crucial right of every worker who has an established employment relationship with the employer.
Income is paid in cash, i.e., through financial compensation for work in the company. In addition to income, employees can also accrue various other rights from the employment relationship, such as paid leave, unpaid leave, including payments that can be made to employees.
Below are more details on this topic – what income consists of, when and how it is paid, whether certain costs are treated as income, and what falls under net and gross income.
In a company, every employee receives a corresponding income (salary) for their work. The amount must be specified in the employment contract, as the level or amount of earnings is a fundamental and mandatory element of every employment contract.
The amount of earnings is determined in accordance with the law, the employer’s general regulations, and the employment contract. The law ensures that it must be equal for the same work or work of equal value that employees perform while working for the employer. The concept of “work of equal value” refers to work that requires the same level of professional qualifications (education), knowledge, and abilities, where an equal contribution is made with equal responsibility.
The term “income” most commonly refers to gross income. More details about what constitutes gross income will be discussed in the text, specifically in the net and gross income section.
According to the law, income consists of several components representing the gross amount. Therefore, we can state that income in gross amount consists of:
The earnings for work performed and time spent on work consist of:
# The base salary is determined based on the time the employee spends at work and the conditions necessary for performing tasks in the engaged position. The company the employee works for may change the amount of the base salary, i.e., it can set a higher amount than the one determined by the elements in the employment contract.
# Performance at work is determined based on the quality and quantity of the performed tasks, as well as the employee’s commitment to work responsibilities.
# When it comes to increasing earnings, it can be increased based on the following:
By the employer’s general act or employment contract, the company has the right to determine other criteria or conditions based on which workers’ salaries can be increased.
Employment contracts, as one of the forms of work engagement in Serbia, must mandatorily include the employee’s salary. In addition, it must encompass all obligatory elements, including those related to earnings. All the elements that the employment contract includes are:
If a collective agreement has been concluded between the employer and the employees and contains mandatory elements regarding earnings, or if required earnings are determined by the company’s rules or another company document, the employment contract does not have to include them. These include:
In this case, the employer is obliged to specify in the employment contract the legal act that contains these elements, as well as the act that defines the rights and obligations of the employees. However, suppose it does not exist or does not establish the rights and obligations of the employee and the elements required by law, the company must include all of this in the contract when establishing an employment relationship with the employee.
Certain payments made to employees are not considered salary by the Labor Law. These include:
An employer may pay an employee a reimbursement for certain expenses, but it should be emphasized that only specific expenses do not have the treatment of income (they are not considered part of the income). These include:
Other expense reimbursements are considered income and include:
Employees are entitled to additional benefits that do not fall under salary treatment. Some employers are obligated to provide these, while others may choose to do so.
Through the employment contract or company regulations, the company has the autonomy to determine disbursements of other benefits, such as:
In addition to the appropriate salary paid to the employee for their work, income includes all earnings derived from the employment relationship, i.e., all payments with the character of income:
Salaries must be paid monthly. The payment method and the deadline for the employer to make the payment can be determined independently through its legal act or in the employment contract. However, the legal deadline for payment is no later than the end of the current month for the previous month (the last working day). In addition to the salary, by this deadline, the employer is obliged to calculate and pay social contributions, both at the expense of the employee and the employer.
To ensure accurate calculations and records, the company must keep monthly records of earnings and salary compensation for each employee.
Employers are legally obligated to pay employees their wages in gross every month. We have written in detail about these concepts – the difference between net and gross earnings- but we will briefly explain them.
The total amount of earnings includes the net amount of earnings, income tax, and contributions from earnings (contributions paid by the employee, based on the base). By the end of the month, the company must calculate and pay net tax, contributions from earnings (borne by the employee), and social contributions paid on the basis (borne by the employer) for each worker.
The gross amount represents the sum of net earnings and social contributions. However, to better understand the concept of gross earnings, it should be noted that there are gross 1 and gross 2:
The minimum wage (commonly referred to as “minimalac”) is the lowest amount of earnings paid to an employee for the time spent at work and the work performed. It is determined based on the minimum established hourly wage, the time spent working, as well as taxes and contributions paid from the earnings. The minimum wage, used to calculate earnings, is applicable for each individual month for which payment is made.
HLB T&M Consulting Belgrade, an agency for accounting services, offers not only accounting and bookkeeping services, inventory and material accounting but also provides personnel services, including payroll services. Our team of specialized experts is well-versed in all legislative changes and updates. Feel free to contact us for any additional information.