Postponing Retirement in Science Could Hamper Hiring of Young Scientists

By 30 September 2019

ZAGREB, September 30, 2019 - Representatives of the government and unions on Monday resumed negotiations on extending years of service until the age of 68 and it was said that, without clear criteria, this could cause a disaster in science and higher education due to the complicated hiring and promotion of young scientists, which would result in emigration.

"Should the working life be extended, over the next three years there would be no promotions of young people and their employment in science and higher education. Given the EU's open borders, excellent young scientists will leave the country," the state secretary at the science ministry, Tome Antičić, said after a meeting on changes to labour and pension laws aimed at enabling people to work until 68.

Antičić said many scientists were interested in working until 68 but added that this could have unforeseen consequences because wage amounts and the wage index were fixed.

If the retirement age is set at 68 without some criteria, it will be a disaster, he said, adding that a request would be made in the negotiations for employers to set criteria for working until 68.

Unionist Krešimir Sever said the unions stated today their position that it was necessary to compensate the more than 5,000 workers who were retired early this year.

The unions also request the establishment of a fund for the compensation of workers who were retired early and who receive reduced pensions. "The employer who got rid of them, because they consider them too old, would make payments into some kind of fund so that those people may receive full pensions," said Sever.

Employers have always been against this, yet this year they have continued to get rid of older workers who could still work, he added.

After meeting unions, government representatives held a separate meeting with representatives of employers to discuss changes to labour and pension laws.

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