Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Sabor on Wednesday Debated a Bill on Workers Posted to Croatia

ZAGREB, Sept 9, 2020 - Lawmakers on Wednesday debated a bill on workers posted to Croatia as well as the implementation of a cross-border agreement on money fines in an attempt to protect their rights, and the Opposition also warned about the status of Croatian workers and that Croatia does not have a sensible industrial policy.

The bill refers to workers who are deployed by a foreign employer to temporarily work in Croatia, which is not their usual place of work, and the proposed bill on workers is being aligned with European legislation.

Davorko Vidovic (SDP bench) welcomed the implementation of EU legislation into Croatian law "because that protects workers and expands the convergence of labor and social rights, it ensures more order and introduces very concrete penalties in cases of abuse."

A Croatian worker in Germany should have at least the minimum rights of local workers, said Vidovic, noting that Croatia has very few workers posted from the European Union.

Sandra Bencic (Left-Green coalition) warned about the non-payment of overtime, the inability to use days-off, or the right to enforce dues from employers. We advocate the development of a sensible industrial policy that Croatia does not have, she claimed. "We do not have enough quality jobs in Croatia."

Bulj: Labor relations in Croatia completely destroyed 

Miro Bulj (Bridge) claimed that workers in Croatia have been completely destroyed yet it is the worker who creates. Responding to criticism by former labor minister Marko Pavic that he was talking out of context, Bulj said that he advocates protecting workers' rights, and added that Pavic is "known as a traveling salesman of expensive perfumes and wines at the ministry's expense" and that he entered parliament with only 200 preferential votes, which speaks for itself what sort of minister he was.

The bill regulates working conditions and rights that are more favorable and provides greater rights for posted workers deployed to Croatia for a longer period of time.

The bill also regulates wage issues for posted workers as well as defining accommodation and costs of a worker's mobility while posted in Croatia as well as the possibility of extending the period a worker can remain in Croatia.

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Friday, 28 August 2020

Employers' Association Says Economy Cannot Withstand Another Lockdown

ZAGREB, August 28, 2020 - A drop in GDP of 15.1 percent has shown that the economy could not withstand another lockdown, the Croatia Employers' Association (HUP) has said, underscoring the importance of preserving jobs, but also providing funds and ensuring liquidity for those hit hardest by the crisis.

The national statistical office (DZS) on Friday released its initial estimates, according to which gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2020 fell by 15.1% on the year, its first decline since mid-2014.

The data on the dramatic decline in GDP, released today, have shown how deep the crisis is, and it is important to keep in mind that without the government's subsidies for preserving jobs and other measures to support the economy, the decline would have been even steeper, HUP said on Friday in a press release.

It is encouraging, it was added, that certain segments of the economy, such the construction industry and the ICT sector saw an increase in activities even in this turbulent period. However, the trade and hospitality sectors, as well as the manufacturing industry and other industries significant for Croatia's GDP have recorded a decline in activity.

It is not encouraging either, they underscored, that the trade sector continued to register a drop even in July, after retail trade turnover in the first sixth months saw a real decline of over 6%.

HUP underscored that it was positive that the results of the tourism sector in July and August were better than had been expected earlier.

It is difficult to expect a more visible economic growth this year or in the first half of 2021, HUP noted.

"It is necessary that the government continue with the measures to help the economy, in order to preserve jobs, ensure liquidity in the economy and encourage spending and investment. We think that measures should be adopted as soon as possible so that employers can make new decisions on time and know what they can count on. We expect the new measures to be presented in a clear way and preserving jobs to remain a priority. Today's data have shown that the economy cannot withstand another lockdown," said HUP's director general Damir Zoric.

"It is more acceptable for employers to adapt to stricter epidemiological measures than to face complete business closure. With no work or with a constant reduction in work activity we lose more than we can currently withstand. Since a good part of economic activity was either completely suspended or largely limited two-thirds of the time in the second quarter, a dramatic decline in GDP is expected, and we can no longer afford that," HUP's press release said.


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Sunday, 2 August 2020

Employers Say Their Biggest Wish Is Lower Taxes and Parafiscal Charges

ZAGREB, Aug 2, 2020 - Four-fifths of Croatian companies are bracing for an economic downturn this year, and 70% of them say that the biggest help to them would be a reduction of fiscal and parafiscal charges in the next year, shows a survey conducted by the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP), which has about 6,000 members.

Furthermore, 36% of those polled say that their priorities are better transparency, digitalisation and a smaller and more efficient state and public administration. They are also hoping for longer deferrals of tax payments during the corona crisis.

One in 12 employers expect a rise in revenues

The survey, conducted in June, shows that as many as 78% of employers expect a decline in their revenues in 2020 in comparison to 2019, and half of them expect a fall of above 20%. On the other hand, 14% of those polled expect the same level of revenues as in the previous year, while eight percent expect a rise in their revenues this year.

The HUP acting director-general, Damir Zoric, said that the findings of the survey show that the priority of employers is a further reduction of the tax burden.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Croatian Job Seekers Won't Need Work Permits in Austria

By early July of 2020, it will be much easier for Croatian job seekers to find work in Austria. Their labor market will be significantly liberalized as Barbara Ban/Novac/JutarnjiList reveals on November 22, 2019. Finding employment in Austrian companies will be easier, without the massive present-day paperwork or work permits for certain jobs.

Admittedly, many Croatian tourism and hospitality workers have been finding jobs in Austria for a long time. As in Croatia, their profession is in high demand and finding work is not a problem. Nevertheless, some important rules still apply.Dr. Marie Škof, from the Klagenfurt-based law firm Grilc Vouk Škof, spoke last Friday at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Pula. She indicated that the liberalization of the Austrian market will be a great help to workers and entrepreneurs who want to send their employees to work on projects their companies have contracted with Austrian companies.

No More Work Permits

- This will mean that you will no longer need to fill out all the present-day forms nor will work permits will be required. The entire procedure for issuing permits for workers in Austria will be greatly reduced. Presently, it’s practically impossible to obtain a work permit - as Dr. Škof noted. The exception is tourism and hospitality workers who obtain work permits to work in season.

- It’s not a problem to get a work permit in that sector, but it has been a problem to get one for construction trades, because certain quotas may have already been met. And from July 1, 2020; all Croatian citizens will be able to get a job in Austria without a work permit. This means that workers in Austria can be employed in the same way as they can in Croatia. It’s important that they find an employer - the lawyer emphasized.


Large Croatian Worker Wave Expected

Asked about what Austria expects next year, since a portion of the Croatian population can hardly wait for the labor market to be opened; Dr. Škof replied that a large wave of Croatian workers is expected especially since Austria is so close to Croatia.

- While Austria expects a lot of Croatian interest, Croatian workers will also be able to work for Croatian companies in Austria without having to seek an Austrian employer. This means that they will not have to move with their entire families but will only need to work in Austria on a temporary basis, the lawyer explains. When they work for a Croatian company in Austria, that employer is obliged to pay them in accordance with the Austrian collective agreement for that industry. Also, according to Austrian regulations, an employee will have certain rights: including time off and paid time off (13 and 14 days respectively).


Strict Employer Regulations

If Croatian employers in Austria do not comply with these strict regulations, Austrian inspections are not so forgiving. In fact, they are among the most rigorous in Europe, will hand out fines immediately and penalties accumulate on a per offense basis. This means that for one offense, the penalty is multiplied by the number of employees working in Austria and the number of Austrian partners with which the Croatian company works. Those numbers can quickly become quite massive. That is why Dr. Škof warns Croatian companies in Austria to become familiar with the regulations, since they could easily go bankrupt otherwise.

The Brodmont Company is a striking example. In 2015 it was rehabilitating a part of the Poels paper mill. There were 217 employees working there, and the Austrian financial inspectors noticed some irregularities, which resulted in a € 3.2 million fine for Zoran Maksimović, the director of the Croatian company. A prison sentence of four years or more was also handed down in the event of non-payment. Maksimović decided to challenge these massive and disproportionate penalties, and won the dispute at a European court for this case, which has become a precedent and will serve as an example in further jurisprudence.

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Thursday, 11 April 2019

Above Board or Below Board, Croatia's Employment Issues Continue

Croatia's employment issues are somewhat perplexing to many, and although there has apparently been a massive drop in unemployment, there's only been a very slight jump in those registering as newly employed. The maths doesn't always really add up, but unfortunately the demographic picture of the country explains it all.

As Jadranka Dozan/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of April, 2019, at this time of year, official data on employment levels tends to heavily reflect the huge levels of seasonality Croatia's labour market is affected by with every passing year, of course, this is primarily owing to the increased employment levels of seasonal workers before the start of the main tourist season in summer. The latest figures from HZMO (Croatian Pension Insurance Fund) from March show some growth in the number of insured persons, both on a monthly and an annual basis, with positive annual rates having continued to some degree or another since March 2015, while monthly growth began in only in February, according to analysts from Raiffeisen Bank (RBA).

Last month, the number of insured persons increased by 14,000, to a total of 1.52 million people, and it is realistic to expect that the number of insured persons will increase even more owing to the opening up of seasonal positions in preparation for the tourist season, an economic trend which could easily continue until September. When compared to March last year, the number of insured persons more than 32,000 or 2.2 percent higher.

Along with the pretty positive indicators from HZMO's labour market information, the Croatian Bureau of Statistic's labour force surveys are more in line with the process of the huge problem of the mass emigration of Croatia's fit, healthy, working-age population and the demographic of an aging general population. The latest survey, in which the last quarter of 2018 was included, indicates an annual drop in Croatia's working-age population from 3.54 to 3.52 million.

Those who are economically active in Croatia, whether they're already working or actively looking for a job, numbered just 1.8 million at the end of 2018, which is 42,000 people or 2.3 percent less than the year before. Despite the positive economic data, the activity rate dropped from 52 to 51 percent. Activity and employment rates have, at least for some time now, been indicative of much more than just the general rate of unemployment. This applies in particular to activities that are needed in more economically developed EU countries, and jobs that tend to be given to (highly) skilled staff.

Economists have been warning for a long time that recent developments in reduce the potential for growth in Croatia in the long term. The number of unemployed people in Croatia in the last quarter of the year, according to the results of the survey conducted in the last quarter of 2018, dropped when compared to the previous year by 46,000 people, or 23 percent, to 154,000 people. At the same time, however, the number of employees increased only very slightly, by 0.3 percent, meaning just 5,000 people more, to 1.64 million. In the fourth quarter, the activity rate and the employment rate recorded lower values ​​(51 percent and 46.6 percent), according to RBA.

In the last quarter of 2018, the numbers of economically inactive people older than fifteen increased by just one percent. Finally, the year ended with the fall of Croatia's unemployment rate to 8.3 percent, which is also the first drop below 10 percent since 2009, the year which followed the 2008 recession, but unfortunately this is partly a consequence of Croatia's negative demographic trend.

Although Croatia's growth in employment is of course very encouraging, analysts warn that it should be noted that the number of employees has been growing at a mild rate for the last five years, and that the average number of employees is still 6.5 percent lower than in before the crisis back in 2008. Overall, they conclude, Croatia's labour market remains very fragile and is burdened with some extremely serious structural problems, especially in terms of the total mismatch of supply and demand, long-term unemployment, and the falling number of working-age people for the ninth year in a row.

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Click here for the original article by Jadranka Dozan for Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 25 March 2019

Gastroposao Portal Helping Pula Find Waiters and Chefs This Season

As Morski writes on the 25th of March, 2019, the specialised portal Gastroposao, which was launched last year, and the City of Pula are continuing their cooperation this year, too.

The portal's aim is to tackle the problem of the lack of quality seasonal workers in hospitality and tourism, which is one of the biggest problems Croatian tourism has faced in recent years.

Following the good results of last year's pilot cooperation between the Gastroposao portal and the City of Pula, when during May and June, Pula's small and medium entrepreneurs in the fields of hospitality and tourism were greatly helped in terms of finding a quality workforce, this year the project is also including Istria, Rovinj and Medulin, as well as the town of Novalja on the island of Pag.

The City of Pula is the first city to recognise the need to create much more simple and exact measures of employment assistance in the field of hospitality and tourism, and has decided that all restaurants from the City of Pula can use incentives in the amount of 90 percent to finance their search for a quality workforce by announcing their search on Gastroposao.

''We're witnessing just how challenging it is to find a quality workforce today, especially in tourism. The tourist season is knocking at the front door and our intention is to quickly and easily "connect" the supply and demand on the labour market and this is why this project is important. If we continue to want to develop and make steps with our [tourist] offer, then it's crucial to have a high-quality workforce,'' said Pula's mayor, Boris Miletić.

Pula will provide direct assistance to all those in the tourism and hospitality sector before the tourist season kicks off, allowing them to easily and quickly find high quality seasonal workers from all over Croatia and beyond, without having to pay extra cash, and with minimal amounts of paperwork.

This means that those looking for staff only pay 100 kuna in costs when publishing an ad on Gastroposao, while the rest will be subsidised by their local government. This approach helps those in the hospitality and tourism industry because a great many small and medium-sized businesses are struggling to be able to get hold of the necessary resources needed for such moves otherwise. The only condition they must fulfil is that they are beneficiaries of measures in the areas of the cities of Pula, Rovinj and Novalja, or in the municipality of Medulin.

It's important to mention that Gastroposao cuts out the middle man and allows employer and employee to communicate directly to each other without any third parties. Employees don't need to write out any job applications and resumes, and they only need to fill in a prepared questionnaire on the Gastroposao portal which has been tailored to the professional terms and written language rules that chefs, waiters and other employees in such fields understand.

Otherwise, the Gastroposao project is co-funded under the IPA Local Employment Promotion Initiative - phase II of the European Social Fund, in the amount of 178,938.00 euro. Gastroposao is the only specialist portal in the Republic of Croatia for employment assistance in the tourism and hospitality sector.

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

Croatia's Business Matchmaker - Project Which Pairs Students with Firms

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of March, 2019, Business Matchmaker, organised by the eSTUDENT student association and the Office for consulting and career development at Zagreb's Faculty of Economics, will be held on the 26th of March this year at Zagreb's Faculty of Economics (Trg JF Kennedy 6), beginning at 9:00. The completion of the official part is expected to be at 15:00.

This innovative project allows students to personally present themselves in a short four minute selection interview to a group of desired companies. Interviews will be held in the halls of the faculty, and the continuation of the meeting and greeting, to which all participants are invited, will be in "Kefi" after 15:00 that same day.

Business Matchmaker is an event which resembles the speed dating principle and is intended for EFZG students to represent themselves to their potential employers. After the interview, employers and students will evaluate each other and the best students can then expect another round of interviews, where they will be able to learn more and find out more about employment opportunities in their desired companies.

In this interesting and useful way, students on the lookout for an employment position are able to properly develop their self-presentation skills and get to know how the labour market works firsthand. This year's Business Matchmaker will see the participation of as many as 21 companies divided into five different groups.

Lucija Matašin shared her personal experience of last year's Business Matchmaker and what it did for her career-wise:

"By participating in Business Matchmaker, I got a student job, which is honestly everything but ''student'' style. Along with that [I got] a great reference for my CV and a lot of motivation and courage to make it easier to deal with stress in similar situations in the future. I met the people from the company, which I might once meet again, because the world is really small and who knows where I'll be tomorrow, and maybe I'll bump into some of these people again on my way. This eSTUDENT initiative and the Office for consulting and career development really provide EFZG students with something they don't get through their classes.''

The companies participating in the project are 24sata, Addiko Bank, Atlantic Grupa (Group), ATOS, British American Tobacco, Croatia Osiguranje (Insurance), Deloitte, DIV Group, EC, INA, Kaufland, King ICT, KPMG, L'Oreal Adria, mStart, Philip Morris Zagreb, Samsung, SofaScore, Syskit, Talentarium and Zagrebačka banka.

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