Aladrović: New Labour Act to Regulate Platform Work, Reduce Unfair Competition

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An estimated 30-40,000 workers, mostly young people, engage in platform work in Croatia, he said.

Responding to the interviewer’s remark that no EU country has managed to regulate this kind of work, Aladrović said that Croatia would be the second country in the EU after Ireland to do so.

“We expect to be the second EU country to do so. Ireland was the first. At EU level, different kinds of lawsuits are being brought and legal practice differs with regard to platform work. We believe that we can amend the Labour Act in such a way as to reduce subsequent court actions,” Aladrović said. 

Asked if the matter would have to be regulated at EU level as well, the minister said he was certain that it would, but added that this does not stop Croatia regulating this form of work on its own.

He said the new law would also regulate teleworking, adding that it would require employers to cover the utility costs of workers working from home.

“Before the COVID crisis about 3 percent of workers worked from home. An EU estimate was that 37 percent of workers could work from home. We want to systematise the benefits and ensure that both the employer and the worker enjoy a higher level of protection as well as that certain costs are paid,” Aladrović said.

Asked who would monitor that, he said that the State Inspectorate was responsible for labour inspection.

Aladrović said that one of the basic objectives of the new law was to reduce precarious work.

“In Croatia, about 25 percent of work contracts are fixed-term contracts. Unfortunately, we are leaders in the EU in that regard. We want to reduce this number and make work certain. The problem is a large number of short-term contracts, so we want to limit the maximum duration of such contracts. Employers will have to explain why they are concluding a fixed-term contract,” Aladrović said.

Asked about the pension system and the possibility of extending the retirement age or resorting to mass labour imports, Aladrović said: “We must be aware that a longer stay in the labour market is our reality, especially in sectors where that is possible. There are sectors where people can work longer and we will continue to promote that. What is important is that there should be a choice rather than an obligation to retire at 65. Labour imports are also a reality for all sectors for which there is not enough labour on the domestic market.”


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