Monday, 25 October 2021

Minister Aladrović Tests Positive for COVID-19

ZAGREB, 25 Oct 2021 - The Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, Josip Aladrović, has tested positive for COVID-19, he wrote on his Facebook account on Monday.

"I took a test for COVID-19 yesterday after feeling mild symptoms associated with this disease, including an elevated temperature and cough. The test has turned out positive," the minister said.

"I am in touch with doctors and epidemiologists. I feel good and am continuing my regular duties from isolation at home," he added.

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Thursday, 16 September 2021

Minister Aladrović: 50,000 More Pension Contribution Payers Now Than Last Year

ZAGREB, 16 Sept 2021 - Labour Minister Josip Aladrović informed the parliament on Thursday that despite all the challenges, Croatia had registered roughly 50,000 more pension insurees at the end of August than a year before and also 9,000 more than at the end of August 2019.

Minister Aladrović underscored these figures while presenting the draft amendments to the minimum wage legislation, which were supported by lawmakers.

The draft amendments envisage the stipulation of the gross minimum wage and also fines for employers who pay wages lower than the defined minimum wage.

Commenting on trends in gross minimum monthly payments, the minister noted that at the end of 2013, the gross minimum pay was HRK 2,984 and it rose to HRK 3,120 at the end of 2016,  which meant that during the term of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) government it rose only by 4.5% or by 135 kuna.

During the term of this government, it increased from HRK 3,120 to 4,250 or by HRK 1,130, he said.

The net minimum pay rose from HRK 2,496 to HRK 3,400 or by 904 kuna that is by 36.2%, he stressed and added that this June the average net monthly wage was HRK 7,175.

Aladrović said that the growth in the minimum wage was evident, however, some shortcomings had been spotted and the draft amendments were aimed at correcting them.

Parliamentary deputies welcomed the proposed changes, and some of them warned that there were still some employers who paid only the gross minimum pay, while they gave the difference to a higher earned pay directly to workers or they denied the right of employees to free days.

(€1 = HRK 7.470695)

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Monday, 21 September 2020

Minister Says Gov't Will Propose that Most Sundays be Non-Working Days

ZAGREB, September 21, 2020 - Labour, Pension System, Family Affairs and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrovic said on Monday that government officials would propose at a meeting to be held with trade unions later in the day that most Sundays be non-working Sundays while some would be working days.

The meeting to be held with trade unions is aimed at determining unions' expectations, the minister said.

"Our general view is that Sunday should be a non-working day but aside from that worldview... parameter, we must also take account of economic parameters and be aware of the situation we are in and try to make a compromise," Aladrovic said after the signing of an agreement on the establishment of a national council for pensioners and elderly persons.

The minister noted that if the government and unions managed to bring their views closer, he expected "a reasonable solution to be reached by the end of the year."

He said it was possible to find a solution also in the context of previous Constitutional Court rulings which abolished bans on Sunday trading.

Asked about doctors and nurses who have not been paid for overtime work, he said that the matter was not within his remit and therefore he could not comment on it but that "considering the government's latest decisions, there should be no problems with payment".

Asked about the problem of Brodotrogir dock workers who have not received their wages for two months, he said that the matter was being dealt with by the Economy Ministry and that he expected a more concrete solution to be found.

"There is the Agency for the Settlement of Workers' Claims, and we will turn to it if necessary," he said.

He described as tendentious President Zoran Milanovic's statement that it was not clear to him why JANAF oil pipeline operator CEO Dragan Kovacevic and businessman Kreso Petek had not been arrested at the moment when Petek gave a HRK 1.96 million bribe to Kovacevic, when police had recordings of the event.

"That's probably his own position. We believe in state institutions and believe they know what they are doing and that what they did made sense," Aladrovic said.


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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Aladrovic: Agreement Reached With Public Services, Holiday Bonus To Be Paid Out

ZAGREB, May 27, 2020 - Croatian Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrovic said on Wednesday that an agreement had been reached with public sector unions on an annex to the basic collective agreement and on holiday allowances being paid into citizens' accounts rather than through the Cro Card.

"We have reached an agreement with public sector employees, they accepted the earlier offer by a majority. We have taken the position that we will pay the HRK 1,500 holiday allowance as we have so far - into citizens' accounts," Minister Aladrovic said after a meeting with public and government sector trade unions.

He underscored that government negotiators had been under the impression that union members were not pleased enough with the Cro Card idea and that they would continue negotiations with government employees on Friday, adding that he believed the talks would have a positive outcome.

Asked if it was a success when six out of eleven trade unions rejected the government's offer, Aladrovic said it was a compromise.

"I am glad we have reached an agreement. The rejections, these are things that are resolved within and between trade unions, and I, as part of the government, would not wish to interfere in their relations," Aladrovic said.

He stressed that paying holiday bonuses directly into citizens' accounts had the same financial scope as payments through the Cro Card.

"Whether it goes to the Cro Card or is paid into users' account makes no difference to us. We wanted to achieve an indirect effect on the economy, but we believe that everything we payout as the holiday allowance will still end up in the domestic economy," Aladrovic said.

He added that the cost of holiday allowances amounted to about HRK 300 million.

Health sector unions underscored as an issue the non-payment of overtime pay, and the minister said they had defined this three to four weeks ago.

"That problem has been partially solved, there is the problem of the past, but that is in the domain of court proceedings, and I would not comment on it further," Aladrovic said.