Only 13 Percent of Croatian Employers Gave Jobs to Disabled in 2018

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Kristina Turcin writes on the 13th of October, 2019, only 13 percent of Croatian employers, or one in eight of them, fulfilled their legal obligation last year and employed a number of people with disabilities, according to the annual report on the work of the Institute for Expertise, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities for 2018.

According to the law on the matter, an employer who is subject to what is known as quota employment of persons with disabilities with twenty or more employees is obliged to employee one person with a proven disability of some sort. As such, at least three percent of the total number of employees working for these employers should be persons with disabilities, employed in a suitable workplace and with the appropriate working conditions.

According to the Croatian Employment Service, last year, there were 9,435 such employers in Croatia: 2,670 operating in the public sector, 6,659 in the private sector, 106 among civil society organisations, and 364 new employers for whom the prescribed 24-month deadline during which they have to fully comply with the law has not yet expired.

Out of a total of 9,435 taxpayers, only 1,266, or 13.41 percent, completely fulfilled this obligation, 14.42 percent fulfilled their obligation partially, and 6,179 or 65.5 percent did not employ any persons with disabilities at all.

Since the law prescribes penalties, or perhaps better to say mandatory fees, that employers who do not meet this particular quota for employment must pay into the state budget, it seems that for two thirds of employers, paying a penalty is a more acceptable option than employing people with disabilities.

Two conclusions can be drawn from this: either the prescribed fine is too low and employers really aren’y bothered about trying to fulfill the obligation to employ persons with disabilities, or for too many of them the “appropriate workplace and appropriate working conditions” they have to prepare for persons with disabilities are far too strictly prescribed.

According to the legal provisions, every Croatian employer who is bound by this law and who did not employ the required number of persons with disabilities is obliged to pay into the state budget thirty percent of what would be minimum wage each month for each person with disabilities who they had to employ, and yet did not.

During 2018 in particular, that compensation amounted to 1031.94 kuna per person. For a larger employer that employs 100 people and is obliged to ensure that at least three people employed there are disabled, the penalty is slightly less than 3,100 kuna per month, which is not much at all for most Croatian employers of that size. A total of just over 216 million kuna was paid into the budget from fines collected on this issue last year alone.

9,435 Croatian employers are subject to so-called quota employment of persons with disabilities (employing more than twnety workers with three percent of those employees needing to be persons with disabilities).

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