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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Conditions of service for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Bosnia and Herzegovina

9.Teachers and education staff

9.2Conditions of service for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Planning Policy

The relevant ministries of education plan and adopt policies regulating the status of teachers, services they provide, the conditions under which they will be employed and work, remuneration, etc. All levels of education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from pre-school to higher education, are regulated, at the state level by four framework laws, and at the entity and cantonal levels, by more than 30 laws.

Entry to the Profession

Professional development of teachers is a lifelong process that takes place in several phases - during the initial education, internship and through continuous professional development. Upon completion of the appropriate faculty a person acquires the prerequisites for entry into the profession of educators, teachers and professors. Entry into the profession in the true sense of the word begins with first intern work when one learns together with a mentor following the mentor's instructions. To enter the profession means to deal with a profession that is very specific because it is an educational and development system.


Induction period is a year-long period when an educator, primary school teacher or secondary school teacher are introduced into work. This is the period of internship work to be performed under the supervision of a mentor or professional associate. The report prepared by the mentor contains data related to the implementation of the internship plan, data on the number of hours and attendance of classes, a report on the realized classes and observations of the mentor.

Professional Status

The professional status of educators, primary school teachers and secondary school teachers or professors begins after fulfilling the mandatory requirements and by personal attitude and experinece that a person acquires and builds during career. Therefore, it is necessary that the educator, primary school teacher and a secondary school tacher or professor has a license to work, whih needs to be confirmed by the continuous perfecting through attending required training. Educators and teachers in public kindergartens and schools are public servants. Employment and working conditions in preschools and schools, as well as the rights and duties are defined by labour laws, laws on education in primary and secondary schools, laws on salaries in public service and the basic collective agreements for employees in the public service. The employment contract is usually concluded for life term, but it can also be arranged for a limited period. Employment may be full-time and part-time. The employment contract may be signed with more preschool or school institutions if there is not a sufficient number of hours for full-time employment in a school or preschool. Irrespective of the duration of the contract or the number of hours, the contract stipulates specific legal rights, and rights established in the collective agreement. The employment contract may be terminated by mutual agreement or an employee may terminate the contract unilaterally. When legally possible, a pre-school or school institution may also terminate the contract.

Replacement Measures

If a school does not have adequate teaching staff, or if there arises a need for temporary substitute teacher, then such classes can be implemented by a teacher who has taught the same subject in the same school or in another school if the total number of classes does not exceed the legally required maximum number of hours taught by one teacher in one week. The number of hours depends on the subject matter being taught.

Support Measures

If a teacher encounters difficulties in conducting classes or communication with pupils and other teachers, support measures in terms of dealing with such situations are conducted both in the school and in cooperation with educational institutions and relevant ministries. These measures are typically implemented by pedagogical advisors employed in pedagogical institutes.


The amount of teacher's salary is governed by the laws on salaries and internal rules in accordance with the workplace, years of service and number of hours, or whether it concerns full-time or part-time work. In addition to the salary, the employee is entitled to compensation for time spent away from work due to illness or some other cases prescribed by law and treated as paid leave, the fee for per diem and travel costs and other fees that are regulated by the law.

Working Time and Holidays

Regular office hours are 8 hours per day, which includes not only teaching hours but also time spent on other activities in the school. The total weekly number of hours prescribed by law is 40 hours. Working hours in educational institutions are divided into shifts. BiH has no law on holidays at the state level, and the laws which were adopted at the level of entities and cantons are respected. According to the Law on Holidays of the Republic of Srpska, republic holidays in RS are: Republic Day, New Year's Day, International Labour Day, the Day of Victory over Fascism, Day of Establishment of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and religious holidays are: Orthodox Christmas, Catholic Christmas, Eid al-Adha, Catholic Easter, Orthodox Easter and Eid al-Fitr. People celebrate them depending on the nationality they belong to. According to the Law on Holidays In the Federation of Bonia and Herzegovina, days off in FBiH are: New Year's Day, International Labour Day, Independence Day of BiH and National Day of BiH. Religious holidays in the Federation of BiH entitle people to two days off, and include: Eid al-Adha, Orthodox Christmas, Catholic Christmas, Catholic Easter, Orthodox Easter and Eid al-Fitr, or depending on affiliation.

Promotion, Advancement

Elements of evaluation of expertise and quality of work of educators and teachers regarding the conditions and procedures for advancement into mentors and advisers include: success in the direct educational work with children and pupils, extracurricular professional work (for teachers), the performance of professional and pedagogical work (for educators) and vocational training. Teachers may be transferred to the administrative departments of the Ministry of Education, inspection or apply for the post of the school principal, in accordance with the tender procedure.

Mobility and Transfers

If a teacher's place is cancelled (if there are not enough pupils), a teacher who was declared redundant can be employed in other preschool or school institution and in this case has the advantage in employment compared to others who apply for a job under the published notice. Teachers may get transferred to the administrative departments of the Ministry of Education, inspection or apply for the post of the school principal. The employment can be established by a contract without competition, for a limited time, when the work cannot suffer delay, until commencing employment on a competitive basis.


Professional pedagogical supervision is exercised by pedagogical institutes and inspection over the legality of work is performed by school inspection. A person who makes a serious breach of work may be fired, which is prescribed by labour laws. In the case of reasonable doubt that an employee of a school suffers psychological and physical health damage to the extent that it significantly reduces his or her ability to work, the school principal will send to the school board a reasoned proposal to make a decision on sending the employee to the assessment of work ability, after which the school board will decide on sending the employee to the assessment of work ability. If the assessment of work ability determines that the employee is not capable of fulfilling obligations in educational work due to permanently impaired mental and physical health, it will offer him or her a suitable job according to remaining work capacities. If the educational institution does not have proper jobs, the employee will have his or her contract cancelled due to reasons personally conditioned.

Retirement and Pensions

Educators and teachers can retire in accordance with the general conditions of the law on pension insurance. The insured persons are entitled to an old-age pension when they meet the statutory requirements for retirement or upon reaching 65 years of age and at least 15 years of service. The insured person who is not 65 years old is entitled to old-age pension upon reaching 60 years of age and 40 years of service. Insured women are entitled to an old-age pension (if they are not 65 years of age), if they reach 58 years of age and 35 years of service.