One of the crucial obligations of the employers (even in regular circumstances) is to take reasonable care of employees’ health and safety, prescribed by The Labor Law and the Occupational Safety and Health Law (hereinafter: OSHL). The importance of this duty grows even bigger in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
If the nature of your business is such that it is impossible to arrange work from home in accordance with The Decree on Organization of Work of Employers During the State of Emergency, you are obliged to provide all additional necessary measures related to the health and safety of your employees. In our blog COVID-19 and Employers: Didn’t Like Work From Home? Better Start… we wrote about the organization of work if the work from home is not an option for you.
In this blog, we will look into the particular measures and the consequences if you fail to implement them.
First of all, you are obliged to provide your employees with adequate resources for work, as well as the resources and equipment for personal protection. 
Regardless of the measures previously undertaken with respect to the state of emergency, you now need to provide your employees with specific protective equipment – medical masks, examination gloves, hands sanitizers and premises disinfectants, warm water and regular maintenance and ventilation of business premises, as well as all the additional measures which prevent the spread of the disease.
It shall be emphasized that the employer is obliged to ensure that the implementation of the health protection measures does not cause any financial expenses to the employees and does not affect their material and social position at work and related to work. 
Particularly, that means you can’t oblige your employees to obtain the protective equipment on their own during the state of emergency.
However, similar to the majority of countries, there is currently a shortage of protective equipment in Serbia. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) projection, an estimated 89 million medical masks are required as a respone to COVID-19 each month.
The question is being raised: how should the employer provide the protection and health at work, if there is no protection equipment?
If there is a risk of infection among multiple employees, you are in a legal obligation to hinder the spread of the virus, by organizing remote work or shift work, in order to reduce the number of employees on the business premises of the employer. If this kind of work organization is not possible in your case, you are obliged to suspend the work.
To be specific, as an employer, you have a duty to stop every work that may represent a potential danger for your employee’s life or health. Therefore, if you cannot compel with that duty, the only remaining possibility for you is to suspend the work.
In case there are no implemented such safety measures as described, an employee has the indisputable right to refuse to work, and it would be unlawful to terminate the employment act on that basis.
If you fail to implement all the necessary work protection measures and thus breach the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Law, you will face the penalties in the amount of RSD 800,000 up to RSD 1,000,000 – for a legal entity, RSD 400,000 up to RSD 500,000 for an entrepreneur, or from RSD 40,000 up to RSD 50,000 for a director, i.e. another representative of the employer.