Which Sectors Relied Most Heavily on Croatian Job Preservation Measures?

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, according to announcements from the Government, job preservation measures are set to undergo some quite significant changes. On the one hand, the announced changes, starting with the measures for July, are related to the current modality of approving them exclusively to enterprises from certain industries, but the question is which ones, because it hasn’t yet been determined.

Unofficially, it has been learned that travel agencies will continue to receive funds from Croatian job preservation measures, while hopes for the catering and hospitality sector continue to be placed in the shaky hands of a hopefully good and long tourist season.

On the other hand, talks between the Government administration and the trade unions started with discussions on another possibility, which is the introduction of restrictions on Croatian job preservation measures for those employees who haven’t yet been vaccinated. This second measure is ethically debatable, both because of human rights and personal data protection, with enterprises and the opposition becoming louder, and a decision on that will be known later on this month.

According to an assessment of auditor Dubravka Kopun, who undertook an analysis of the current Croatian job preservation measures, the Government is going in the right direction, especially in terms of defining the activities that further need these funds. The latest available CES data on approved measures have been concluded for the salary payments for March, and in terms of activities it turns out that the most significant beneficiary of these grants is of course the hospitality sector, which participates with as many as 26 percent of all employees to whom these measures apply.

A significant category are travel agencies that employ 9,578 employees, which is a share of close to 8 percent in terms of these measures, and hotels and camps where there are 6,214 or 5 percent of employees to whom the measures apply.

According to Kopun, however, the segment of construction, architects and surveyors is interesting. While there are continuous talks of a significant labour shortage in the construction sector, almost 4.6 percent of their employees or 5,623 people remain in the total number of those for whom economic measures have been approved.

It is also, as she says, an interesting fact about the number of lawyers who still receive suppoer, although their business isn’t significantly affected by the pandemic. There are 417 lawyers who employ 667 employees, which is about 0.5 percent of all employees to whom Croatian job preservation measures are approved.

Of the total number of beneficiaries of Croatian job preservation measures as of March 2021 – 35,900 companies employing 123,547 people for whose jobs the measures are still being implemented, the situation is critical in the most vulnerable group – those engaged in micro-entrepreneurship. The most important in the structure of the use of CES measures, which include co-financing the costs of salaries and part-time work, are micro-entrepreneurs who employ from 1 to 10 employees. According to Kopun’s analysis, these entities participate with as many as 63 percent of employees for whom such funds have been approved. One year ago, the share stood at around 85 percent, with about 110,000 employees accounted for.

A comparison of these trends on an annual basis – the realisation of the measure of wages at the beginning of the pandemic for March 2020 compared to March this year shows that the number of beneficiaries decreased by about 4450 companies. A year ago, it was used by 40,350 enterprises who employed 387,372 people, with only 2.5 percent of those companies being in the category of those who employ over 50 people.

Some sectors are still so affected by the current global situation that targeted measures are now under way to replace the horizontal measures at the level of one sector. Such is the latest move by the Ministry of Transport, which recently announced a public call for the allocation of ”small value aid” to help affected companies operating in the transport sector, worth a total of 60 million kuna. As many as 9,665 people are employed in transport, airports and Croatia Airlines, who receive Croatian job preservation measures (a share of 7.82 percent).

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