Croatian Micro-Enterprises Begin Applying for 2000 Kuna Per Worker

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes on the 7th of July, 2020, there is a deadline from the 7th to the end of this month for submitting applications for a new type of financial support, which is envisaged for Croatian micro-enterprises (as small employers) affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the amount of 2,000 kuna per worker for the month of July.

According to the projections of the Ministry of Labour, the new measure of the Croatian Employment Service (CES) for preserving jobs could be used by small employers in relation to 100,000 workers.

It is also important in their particular case that this support is accompanied by contributions that need to be made in the appropriate amount, so their beneficiaries should also count on that part of the financial assistance.

According to State Secretary Dragan Jelic of the aforementioned ministry, as employers, Croatian micro-enterprises are considered the most vulnerable to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

“This is an attempt to avoid the dismissal of workers, ie, the sudden entry of former employees into the unemployment register, and the closure of these companies,” explained Jelic. Additionally, the new measure includes members of the company in the position of director if they too are technically employed.

The new measure can be used by all eligible employers who have registered their activity by the end of February 2020 and are properly registered in the HZMO system. This support is provided by workers listed by the employer at the time of application, but not by employees listed after the 30th of June. No support can be obtained for them, and the same is the case with some of those who outgrow the framework of what a Croatian micro-enterprise is supposed to be because they employ a total of 10 or more workers through several entities of the same founder.

In addition, non-payers of wages, as well as renters of private accommodation and family farms that aren’t in the system for the payment of profit or income tax, will remain without support.

The criterion for Croatian micro-enterprises is a decrease in revenue by at least 50 percent in June 2020 when compared to June 2019, based on the VAT return for those months, while Croatian micro-enterprises who aren’t in the VAT system, this needs to be evidenced based on a table of their revenue decline. If the employer has been operating for less than twelve months, then the decrease in turnover is determined in relation to February 2020.

For employers who employ more than 10 workers, part-time support has been introduced, which covers a potentially larger number of beneficiaries than the previous sub-measure did, and is calculated for between 100 and 150 thousand workers. About 400 million euros are available for this measure through the EC’s Sure programme.

This aid is granted for the temporary introduction of full-time work for workers with certain additional requirements, but not less than half, and up to a maximum of 2,000 kuna per month net per worker.

As the director of the CES, Ante Loncar, pointed out, the Institute tries to process requests for these measures within 10 days of receiving a request with all of the necessary and completed documentation, and, after a positive assessment of the request, make the actual aid payments by the 20th or 30th of the month for the previous month.

In addition, after three months of the temporary suspension of the remaining measures of the active employment policy from July the 1st, they are active again, and this includes perhaps the most popular measure of all – support for self-employed people.

“This measure was reactivated with certain changes in the criteria necessary for the quality selection of aid beneficiaries who really want to go into entrepreneurship and for the better use of aid funds, all with the aim of stimulating economic activity,” stated Loncar.

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