Executive Director of the Institute for Youth Development KULT Jasmin BeĹˇi? addressed a letter to Ms Lidija Bradara, the Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Assembly of FBiH, in which he emphasized the support of the Institute for Youth Development KULT to the change of the term “volunteer” in the text of the Proposal of Labour Law of FBiH. The Proposal of the Law will be addressed at the extraordinary session of the Parliamentary Assembly’s House of People of FBiH, scheduled for Thursday, 30 July 2015.
Namely, since the Law on Volunteering of the Federation of BiH has been adopted, i.e. since 2012, the Institute received almost 500 letters regarding the translation of the Law on Volunteering of the Federation of BiH. One third of the questions were related to the issue of volunteering apprentice and the possibility of taking a professional examination, which is not defined in the Law on Volunteering of the Federation of BiH, but in the Labour Law of the Federation of BiH. This confusion is a result of the term “volunteer” being used in Article 28 in the current Labour Law of the Federation of BiH in order to name persons conducting professional education without full-time employment and in order to differentiate them from “common apprentices” that have greater rights than a volunteering apprentices. In practice, youth think that by volunteering in accordance with the Law on Volunteering of the Federation of BiH they may exercise rights as volunteers in accordance with the Labour Law of FBiH. This situation causes interpretation troubles for apprentices, confuses the institutions that are contacted by youth for taking professional examinations, particularly those youth who mostly experience disappointment.
Prior to developing the Law on Volunteering, the term volunteer only existed in Labour Law of FBiH and there were no ambiguities because real volunteers, who truly invested their leisure time to improve the situation in their communities and spent their time in a purposeful manner had no rights or a law that determined the status of a volunteer. By passing the Law on Volunteering of FBiH, which is lex specialis, the Labour Law of FBiH is obliged to remove the term volunteer from its text.
Due to the aforementioned, the letter addressed to Ms Lidija Bradara, the Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Federation, emphasized the importance of changing the term “volunteer” in the Proposal of Labour Law of FBiH.
“It is important to emphasize that the term ‘volunteer’ was completely wrongly interpreted and used in the previous (currently relevant) law, because volunteering is completely based on an individual’s free will to provide volunteering services, as is determined by the Law on Volunteering of FBiH. The second important point is that by replacing the terms in the Proposal of Labour Law of FBiH the purpose of the provision will not be changed and youth will be able to, under the same conditions, perform professional education and take professional examinations” – is stated in the letter.
Change of the term “volunteer” is supported by representatives of the non-governmental sector, the institutions that work on implementing the Law on Volunteering of FBiH and youth who were mostly confused by the provisions of the two laws, and we hope that the new provision, as suggested by the Proposal, will be adopted.