Saturday, 19 March 2022

Guide for Employers: Ukrainians Looking for Work in Croatia Don't Need Work Permit

March 19, 2022 - The Red Cross says that employers call them to offer jobs for Ukrainians. Maria Meleshko, from the Ukrainian community, warns about possible exploitation and violation of human rights. The Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) gives more details, both for Ukrainian citizens and Croatian employers.

Since the arrival of Ukrainian refugees at the Plitvice Motel in Zagreb, where the reception center is located, many employers from Croatia have called and offered them jobs. At the same time, one of the first questions of Ukrainians after arriving at the reception center was whether there was any work for them. ''There are a lot of young people, people want to get a job'', said Nikolina Gotal, spokeswoman for the city society CK Zagreb to 24sata.

Most of them, she adds, are employers from service industries. 

''A man from Samobor called and asked for a chef and an assistant chef, a lady from Ukraine told us that she already had a job interview in Pula, so we called colleagues from the Red Cross there to find accommodation for her and her family. In the second week after the arrival of the refugees, two employees of the Croatian Employment Service started coming every day for two hours and talked to the Ukrainians and entered them in their records'', said Gotal.

In addition to employers, the reception center was also contacted by numerous owners of private kindergartens, offering children from Ukraine accommodation in their kindergartens. Finally, she told all employers interested in employing Ukrainians to contact the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) and coordinate everything through them.

Vlado Karešin, President of the Ukrainian Community of the Republic of Croatia, said to 24sata that they were looking for a job for a Ukrainian who arrived in Slavonski Brod with four children and is a ceramicist by profession. 

''Here in Slavonski Brod, except for him, there are all mothers with children, one mother said that she would like to start working as soon as possible, so we are looking for a job for her as well'', Karešin said.

Marija Meleško, from the Ukrainian community in Zagreb, said that she still does not know anyone who got a job and states that it was mostly mothers with children who came from Ukraine and they must first take care of them before they get a job.

''Those who do not have any family or friends here, will want to work immediately. Mothers must first place their child in kindergarten or school and then start working. I only hope and believe that Croatian employers will not abuse people who came to seek salvation in Croatia and that there will be no exploitation of people. People come traumatized, disoriented in time and space, and not ready to control everything because they are in such a psychological state. I hope that their human rights will not be violated for human trafficking so that someone picks them up at the border and ends up who knows where. I hope there will be no such cases. Mothers with children are a particularly vulnerable group and are still coming into the unknown. And of course, I absolutely trust the Croatian police. If that happens by chance, I expect an immediate police response, which I believe will do it all. So far, there are no such situations, they are just fears, but we should be careful'', she concluded.

So, what should be considered before looking for a job in Croatia as a Ukrainian citizen, or before offering a job as a Croatian employer to a Ukrainian citizen? The Croatian Employment Service (HZZ), through a Q&A, cleared up the doubts.

How can Croatian employers hire refugees from Ukraine?

All persons under temporary protection must first regulate their stay in Croatia, they must first go to the Ministry of the Interior, obtain an identity card and OIB. They can then be registered in our unemployment register, and we will refer them to the jobs of potential employers in accordance with their knowledge. The HZZ will work intensively to connect people interested in work and employers.

Should Ukrainians have a work permit?

Temporary protection is approved by the Ministry of the Interior for a period of one year, during which time persons under temporary protection can be employed without a residence and work permit, which must be required for third-country nationals. Since only a small number of refugees from Ukraine have achieved this, it is understandable that they are not yet registered in the unemployment register.

Does HZZ help Ukrainians get a job in Croatia?

Employees of the Croatian Employment Service are daily in reception centers and collective accommodation and in individual interviews record the interest and employment opportunities of individuals and provide basic information about employment and employment opportunities and support they can receive from the job search agency.

How is communication with them?

In order to facilitate communication and provide basic information, the HZZ produced a leaflet in the Ukrainian language and the Cyrillic alphabet. The leaflet can contain all the information on registration in the unemployment register as well as the rights that a person exercises after registration.

Do you expect a large number of Ukrainians to be employed in Croatia?

All persons who express an interest in registering with the HZZ with the counselor will determine with which counselor they can and want to work, which languages ​​and other special skills they use, and the counselor will therefore refer them to the jobs of potential employers. We expect that in the future we will work intensively on connecting people interested in work and employers. Once again, we note that persons must regulate their status in the Ministry of the Interior in order to be able to register in the unemployment register and then be employed.

You can find the list and locations of all HZZ regional offices and their branches HERE.


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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Croatia to Abolish Quotas - Doors Open to Non-EU Workers

I recently wrote an article on work permits in Croatia, and delved into what being inside and being outside of the annual quota means. Click here for that, and then read this article which discusses the changes to the Law on Foreigners to see how the changes may apply to you should you be attempting to get a work permit as a third country national in Croatia.

The information provided here should allow you to know what to do (should you need to do anything at all) in order to act accordingly depending on your personal situation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of November, 2019, the annual quotas for the import of foreign workers set by the Croatian Government will soon be condemned to the history books. In future, employers will employ foreign workers on the basis of a labour market test conducted by the Croatian Employment Service, and in some professions, the import of foreign workers will be fully liberalised, again at the discretion of the CES Governing Council.

The move stems from the draft of the new Law on Foreigners, which has been in public consultation since last week.

Under the new law, an employer from Croatia seeking to hire a foreign (non-EU) worker will have to contact the CES/HZZ regional office to verify whether or not there are any unemployed persons in their records who meet the employer’s requirements.

If there are any, the CES will mediate employment, otherwise, it will issue an opinion on the basis of which MUP (Ministry of the Interior) will issue work permits for foreigners. Once again, this refers to third country nationals, not EU citizens, who can work freely just like Croatian citizens, without the need for any type of permit.

However, these tests will not be carried out in the case of seasonal agricultural workers, and there will be no need for the test in certain other professions either, depending on the decisions of the Governing Council.

The draft law also specifies that these tests will also be overlooked for occupations that are lacking on the local and regional labour market and cannot be ''stoked'' by migration into the country, the implementation of strategic and investment projects, and "other circumstances relevant to economic growth and sustainable development".

The law also provided for exceptions, that is, there will be certain employers who will not be allowed to hire foreign/non EU workers. In such cases, third country nationals would not be allowed to be imported by employers who are subject to proceedings for the non-payment of salaries, those who have companies in liquidation or who have had their accounts blocked for more than thirty days, those who do not pay taxes, and those who have no actual contracted employees. It is also explicitly stipulated that the share of third country nationals among the total number of employees under one employer should not exceed one third, according to a report from Vecernji list.

Since time for the adaptation to this new model is required, above all by the CES, it has been circulating (albeit unofficially for now) that a temporary quota for the employment of non-EU workers will be granted during the first months of next year.

HUP has warned that with the full opening of the Austrian labour market, which has remained limited to Croatian workers owing to a right provided to member states of the EU, it will be even harder for employers to retain domestic workers, as well as foreign seasonal workers next year, which is why they consider the abolition of quotas entirely to be a very reasonable measure.

HUP's Davor Majetić emphasised that it is necessary to prepare a model of employment that will be more competitive than the countries in Croatia's immediate region, but also emphasised that such a model must be functional, which requires quality preparation of the system.

''We therefore support the government's acceptance of our initiative to introduce the Law on Foreigners through a regular procedure in order to implement the process of adjusting the system and stakeholders in a timely manner,'' Majetić said. He warned, however, that the checking of various employers to allow them to import foreign workers could bring with it even more, new administrative burdens, since the employer has so far only required proof of company registration.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more.