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Gender equality of company members

Nikolina Dubroja • jun 17, 2022

Gender equality of company members

The latest set of amendments to the Corporations Law (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia Nos. 36/2011, 99/2011, 83/2014 – Other Law, 5/2015, 44/2018, 95/2018, 91/2019, and 109/2021; ‘the Law’) took effect on 1 June 2022.

A particularly interesting change amongst the many new provisions of the law is Article 9a, which regulates individuals that must be registered with the Serbian Business Registers Agency (SBRA) pursuant to the Law on Registration with the Serbian Business Registers Agency (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia Nos. 99/2011, 83/2014, 31/2019, and 105/2021). Companies had already been required to register a set of data for their members who were natural persons (for Serbian nationals these were first and last name and national identification number, and for foreign nationals the data were first and last name and passport number and country of issue, or serial number of national identity card and country of issue), but the latest amendment also requires members’ gender to be reported. This amendment also means that gender will now have to be indicated in companies’ articles of association and registered with the SBRA.

The legislator’s rationale for this change is compliance with the Gender Equality Law (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 52/2021) with the aim of pursuing an equal opportunity policy and promoting gender equality in Serbia.

As members’ gender will now become publicly available, this amendment can also be considered through the lens of data privacy. Under the Serbian Personal Data Protection Law (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 87/2018), this piece of information is to be treated identically as data hitherto processed by personal data processors. In addition to the SBRA, for the purposes of the Personal Data Protection Law, the company whose members’ gender is reported is also deemed to be a personal data processor. No consent from the data subject is required for data processing, since existing regulations provide the legal basis for such processing activity.

It seems that Serbian legislation has embarked on a course designed to bring it into compliance with rules mandating equal rights, where the ultimate aim is to base a broad range of policies all areas, from politics and business to society and culture, on the principle of gender equality. The final outcome of this legislative approach remains to be seen, as does whether gender equality will be fully implemented across Serbian legislation and, more importantly, whether it will be put into practice with equal success.