Tuesday, 27 July 2021

GLAS Slams Gov't Proposal to Restrict Sunday Trading

ZAGREB, 27 July, 2021 - The parliamentary opposition GLAS party said on Tuesday that a government proposal to restrict Sunday trading was "harmful populism and hypocrisy" by the ruling HDZ party, noting that the government had not thought about fair remuneration for Sunday work.

"(Economy) Minister (Tomislav) Ćorić of the HDZ and Prime Minister Plenković himself have been insisting lately on banning Sunday trading so strongly that uninformed onlookers might conclude that their government has nothing better to do. And they have been doing so amidst a pandemic and crisis and after two disastrous earthquakes," the party said in a statement.

It noted that the government was not thinking about how to ensure fair remuneration for people who work on Sundays in the retail sector.

"If the government were really interested in solving the problem, it would accept GLAS's proposal for fair pay for Sunday work, instead of turning it down several times," the party said, adding that its MP Anka Mrak Taritaš would again submit a proposal to that effect to the parliament.

"It is also interesting how the HDZ sees the development of Croatia's tourism - shops would be allowed to work 16 Sundays a year, which means that the government restricts in advance the tourist season to that many weeks," GLAS said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Social Partners Reach High Level of Agreement on Sunday Work, Employers Skeptical

May 17, 2021 - Representatives of the social partners said on Monday, after a meeting of the Economic and Social Council (GSV), a "high degree of agreement on the issue of Sunday work." Still, employers remain skeptical about "administrative restrictions to freedom to work."

The GSV discussed regulating Sunday work through the Trade Act, the action plan for implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights, and revised EU guidelines for regional aid.

Minister: We wish to strengthen collective bargaining .to define hourly wage consensually

Labour Minister Josip Aladrović said the government planned to amend the Trade Act because most of the contentious elements concerning Sunday work appeared in trade.

"In future, we wish to strengthen collective bargaining, where unions and employers can consensually establish how much the hourly wage is worth on Sunday or other special days. We expect there to be as many consensually defined relations as possible," he said.

The press reminded him that the Constitutional Court had rejected previous attempts to ban Sunday work. Aladrović said that the new bill balanced the contentious constitutional and legal aspects much better.

"We are confident we will avoid any problems concerning the constitutionality of the law. A balance has been struck between the number of working and non-working Sundays. There have been no major objections in the discussions. I'm confident the law will go into force by year's end."

Asked whether now was the right time to change the law, Aladrović said the crisis caused by the epidemic was "vanishing" in the economic sense and that the next period would bring strong recovery.

"We believe the segments within the trade sector will recover and that in the period in which the law will be passed, we will no longer have that economic challenge."

Aladrović said the 16 working Sundays a year struck a balance and enough to cover the peak tourist season and some holidays.

GSV chairman Vilim Ribić said the three social partners reached a high level of agreement at today's meeting and that they were all for solving Sunday work.

Employers generally against administrative restrictions to freedom to work

Croatian Employers Association (HUP) president Mihael Furjan said HUP was generally against any administrative restrictions to freedom to work and conduct a business. Therefore, it needed more time to consider the bill.

"Consumption is recovering, and the economy is strongly recovering, export in Q1 grew strongly. We are confident that in Q2 already, we will generate growth in relation to last year."

Business people are very optimistic but believe that at the moment, when we still have not fully come out of the crisis, it's not smart to adopt measures that can reduce economic growth and activity, Furjan said.

For more about news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Croatian Sunday Work Ban for Shops to be Lifted

The Croatian Sunday work ban for shops and other such facilities has been a topic that has generated a lot of discussion, with both fierce proponents and opponents and a lot of arguments on both sides. It seems however, that the restriction on the operation of shops on Sundays in Croatia will be lifted.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of May, 2020, the National Civil Protection Headquarters have announced their decision to lift the Croatian Sunday work ban in a statement.

Due to the now favourable epidemiological situation in Croatia, and by amending the previously introduced decision on the working hours and the manner of operation in the trade sector during the COVID-19 epidemic, the Croatian Sunday work ban will be lifted, in full compliance with general anti-epidemic measures and special instructions and recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, stated the National Civil Protection Headquarters.

By amending the aforementioned decision on the special operation of shops and other facilities in the trade sector during the declared epidemic of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, it has now been made possible to sell flowers at markets, as well all other products that were sold before the anti-epidemic restrictions were introduced, in compliance with the general anti-epidemic measures and the special instructions and recommendations provided by the Croatian Institute. for public health.

For more on the coronavirus pandemic in relation to Croatia, follow our dedicated section.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

PM: Sunday Work Ban To Be Lifted If Epidemiologically No Longer Required

ZAGREB, May 23, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has said the ban on Sunday work will be lifted if it is established that it is no longer required epidemiologically, but that he is for Sunday to be a non-working day.

"The ban on Sunday work was an epidemiological measure introduced at a moment that was quite different from today's circumstances, when we have single-digit numbers of new (COVID-19) infections. The objective of the measure was to reduce the intensify of the population's mobility one day in the week. If it's now concluded epidemiologically that it's no longer necessary, the measure will be lifted," Plenkovic said in an interview in Jutarnji List's Saturday issue.

"As far as Sunday is concerned, I'm for it to be a non-working day. That's the political position of the government and the HDZ."

He said the effects of the economy's reactivation would be carefully analysed.

In the first 20 days of May, retail trade dropped only 5% on the year, he said. We will continue with the support measures for the real sector but target them, he added.

Speaking of opponents in the coming parliamentary election, Plenkovic said voters would elect those who they thought could cope with crises and run the country in the best way. "Those who create chaos and are irresponsible can't run the country in difficult, challenging circumstances."

He said he was prepared to participate in debates and that he still thought, as he did in the presidential election, that a vote for Miroslav Skoro was a vote for the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

"When (Mislav) Kolakusic, supported by Human Shield, gave up the campaign, enabling the consolidation of the left's votes, and when some people in our party were more engaged on some other side rather than for Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Skoro wins 24%. And what was achieved by that? Not only was  (Zoran) Milanovic first in the first round, but 100,000 ballots were made invalid in the second round, which was obviously sabotage. I believe people see that now and that the same scenario won't happen twice. Such a scenario repeating would help (Davor) Bernardic and the SDP."

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