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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Employment Agreement Essentials

Understand the key elements of employment contracts in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Types of employment agreements

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the labor law framework is complex due to the country's administrative structure. However, there are general categories of employment agreements that apply throughout the country, with some variations depending on the specific entity (Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina or Republika Srpska).

Employee Contracts

Employee contracts are the most common type of employment agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They can be further categorized as follows:

  • Indefinite Employment Contracts: These are permanent positions with no set end date. However, either the employer or employee can terminate the contract with proper notice as outlined in the Labour Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Fixed-Term Employment Contracts: These contracts have a predetermined end date and are typically used for temporary positions or project-based work.

  • Part-Time Employment Contracts: These contracts specify a reduced work schedule compared to a full-time position. Part-time employees have rights proportional to their working hours.

Service Employment Contracts

Service employment contracts differ from traditional employee contracts in that they are used for engaging independent contractors or specialists for specific services. These contracts focus on the deliverables or outcomes rather than supervising the way the work is performed.

Seasonal Employment Contracts

Seasonal employment contracts are used to fill positions with increased demand during specific times of the year, common in industries like tourism, hospitality, and agriculture. These contracts have a limited duration and can be renewed if needed.

These are general categories, and Bosnia and Herzegovina's labor law is intricate. Employers and employees should consult with legal professionals to ensure their agreements comply with all relevant regulations.

Essential clauses

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the complex legal system with variations between entities, certain key clauses are essential for all employment agreements.

Parties to the Agreement

The agreement should include the full names, addresses, and contact information for both the employer and the employee.

Terms of Employment

The agreement should specify the type of contract, the official commencement date of employment, a concise description of the employee's duties and responsibilities, and the primary workplace or if the role requires work from multiple locations.

Compensation and Benefits

The agreement should outline the base salary amount, payment frequency, and any applicable bonuses or allowances. It should also detail any benefits offered, such as paid leave, health insurance, or contributions to social security.

Working Hours and Leave

The agreement should specify the regular working hours per week or day, including overtime regulations if applicable. It should also outline the employee's annual leave entitlement and the method for calculating leave accrival.


The agreement should define the required notice period for both the employer and employee in case of termination. Bosnia and Herzegovina has specific legal requirements regarding minimum notice periods based on the Labour Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Additional Clauses (Optional)

The agreement may include a clause protecting confidential company information if applicable to the role. It may also outline ownership rights related to any intellectual property created by the employee during their employment, and specify the process for resolving any disagreements arising from the employment agreement.

Probationary period

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, employers have the option to include a probationary period in employment contracts. This initial phase serves as a trial period for both the employer and the employee to evaluate suitability for the role.

Key Points on Probationary Periods

  • Maximum Duration: The probationary period cannot exceed three months in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. It can be extended by an additional three months only through mutual agreement between the employer and employee.
  • Notice Period: During the probationary period, the notice period for termination of employment is shorter compared to the regular notice period. It's at least seven days for both the employer and the employee.
  • Purpose: The probationary period allows employers to assess the employee's skills, work ethic, and suitability for the position. Employees can also use this time to determine if the role aligns with their expectations.

Additional Notes

  • While a probationary period is legal, it's not mandatory to include one in an employment agreement.
  • Employers should ensure a fair and transparent evaluation process during the probationary period.

Confidentiality and non compete clauses

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, employers are permitted to include confidentiality and non-compete clauses in employment agreements, albeit with certain restrictions.

Confidentiality Clauses

Confidentiality clauses are designed to safeguard an employer's sensitive business information from unauthorized disclosure by employees. These clauses are especially pertinent for roles that involve access to trade secrets, customer data, or proprietary information.

Key Points on Confidentiality Clauses:

  • Permissible Scope: Confidentiality clauses can limit the disclosure of confidential information during and even after employment. However, the definition of "confidential information" must be clear and reasonable to be enforceable.
  • Employee Obligations: The clause should specify the employee's obligations regarding the maintenance of the confidentiality of protected information. This may encompass restrictions on sharing information with unauthorized individuals or using it for personal gain.

There are no explicit legal provisions regarding confidentiality clauses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, general contractual principles and obligations of good faith apply.

Non-Compete Clauses

Non-compete clauses limit an employee's capacity to work for a competitor or engage in similar business activities after leaving the company. These clauses can be beneficial in protecting an employer's legitimate business interests.

Key Points on Non-Compete Clauses:

  • Legal Recognition: Non-compete clauses are recognized under Bosnian and Herzegovinian labor law but are subject to limitations.
  • Reasonable Scope: The restrictions imposed by a non-compete clause must be reasonable in terms of geographic scope, duration, and the type of activity restricted. Courts may declare unreasonable clauses unenforceable.
  • Statutory Limitations: The Law on Employment of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina permits a maximum two-year non-compete period for directors and executive directors after their employment ends.

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Law on Employment is a key legislative reference for non-compete clauses.

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