Vaccination Prerequisite for Croatian Economic Aid to Companies?

July the 3rd, 2021 - Vaccination against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, although not mandatory, might well be required before companies can receive Croatian economic aid if it can be implemented constitutionally.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic stated that he thinks it would be fair that in a time of crisis, when the state provides vaccines and salaries for the normal functioning of the entire system, for everyone to make some form of small contribution to the effort.

"If someone is going to be a beneficiary of the Croatian economic aid, let's say job preservation support, then it would be good for them to be vaccinated,'' said the Prime Minister, but without adding further details on just how government economic support will be linked to vaccination.

The ministers of labour and health, Josip Aladrovic and Vili Beros, have now been tasked with specifying measures to be taken by the Croatian Employment Service to link the two processes.

For the moment, this is just an idea announced by the Croatian Government, it's possible that it will be legally and constitutionally difficult to implement, and for now it looks like pressure to workers in those sectors which had to be closed during lockdown, to get vaccinated. However, the Prime Minister said recently that a solution would be sought that would be legal and constitutional, Jutarnji list writes.

"We can't have unlimited government economic measures because the whole of Europe is moving in the direction of job creation, but there are still sectors, such as the catering and hospitality sector, which has partial restrictions, and those that have no restrictions, but are affected because they're objectively disabled, such as transport, tourism, the event industry. Our task now is to engage in dialogue with employers and move on to tailored sectoral measures. So, it isn't just going to be towards everyone as it was before,'' the Prime Minister explained after a recently held Government session.

Until the end of the year, the measure of reduced working hours is set to remain in force. Plenkovic noted that in agreement with the representatives of employers, trends will be monitored and responded to in time if necessary, which will keep pace with active employment policy measures, and in which more than a billion kuna will be invested this year.

Recently, the government also adopted a support programme for vulnerable activities in the sectors of transport, tourism, culture and the event industry. It is actually a reimbursement of fixed costs that these activities didn't have before because they weren't formally closed by the decision of the National Civil Protection Directorate, but suffered heavy losses regardless.

The grants are worth a total of 150 million kuna, and the amount is provided by the budget revision. Those who have recorded a drop in revenue of at least 75 percent compared to 2019 will be able to apply for this form government economic support. In the transport sector, fixed costs will be reimbursed to companies for land and sea passenger transport, as well as to travel agencies and tour operators related to nautical transport. In the tourism sector, the support refers to travel agencies, up to a maximum of 10,000 kuna per worker.

In the event industry sector, companies that organise festivals, concerts and similar cultural and artistic events, as well as events intended for professionals in the field of cultural and creative industries, are eligible, Jutarnji list has learned.

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