Three ministries agree with the re-socialisation of former MUP and MORH staff members, while the Ministry of Labour’s response is still being waited on.
As Sasa Paparella/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of October, 2018, there are about 16,500 people currently employed in the private sector in the Republic of Croatia, and about 3,500 people required for various positions are missing.
Although HUP has been continuously intensifying their assertion of the problem of Croatia’s general lack of a proper workforce recently, over a year and a half ago, following the opening of Croatia’s borders, over 20 percent of the country’s active security guards left to find work elsewhere, outside of the country.
“For our sector, this figure is almost inexcusable. People have left to go abroad because of the low salaries, ranging from between 3,000 and 3,500 kuna for simpler positions. Although all security guards have completed secondary school, at the beginning, they have a salary which is 1000 to 1500 kuna lower than their counterparts in other sectors, while abroad, they earn 1700 to 1900 euro for doing exactly the same job,” said Ante Perčin, president of the HUP Association of Security Operations and a member of Sokol Marić’s management. Perčin was once even considering bringing in security guards from other countries where the salaries are generally even lower, but eventually dropped that idea.
“The law on private protection stipulates that foreigners must obtain a Croatian license, and have a knowledge of Croatian language and the Latin script. Other countries have solved this problem by acknowledging the licenses of other countries. But the question is, who would come to Croatia?” Perčin readily admitted.
Despite concerning issues, solutions do still exist.
“Our proposal is to hire retired MUP staff, people from MORH, Croatian defenders (branitelji), MUP alone has about 40,000 retirees, who are, on average, just a bit older than 40,” added Perčin.
”With working re-socialisation, these people can work in security for another twenty years. They worked, for twenty years, in the public security sector, and have the necessary knowledge, the right attitude towards work and the right work ethic. Many retired police officers are taken on by small security companies as security guards or nightguards, and that way their status would be legalised, and with that work, they’d pay taxes and other benefits to the state. However, with the current laws, that’s impossible because they’d have their acquired rights denied more than they’d earn for their work. At the minute, our laws don’t allow anyone who has reached full retirement age to work full-time, it allows just four hours of work, and that’s at 65 years of age, so this option isn’t a good one for our sector,” stated Perčin.
Owing to this law, which many deem to be flawed, numerous security company owners across the country are now intensively lobbying for its amendment, so that this category of pensioner could be able to legally work full-time without being threatened with the abolition of their acquired rights. Three ministries have already expressed their agreement with the proposal, but the Ministry of Labour is lagging, which is otherwise the ministry which must initiate the revision of a series of legal and subordinate laws and acts in order to make this idea a realistic one.
There are already 31,000 licensed security guards in the Republic of Croatia, but only 17,000 are actually employed in that sector, while the rest are leaving and heading abroad for better wages.
“Salaries in the security sector have never been higher than they are now, although it’s certainly absurd that a 3,500 kuna salary is referred to as ‘big’. If we want to stop the exodus of our already existing security guards, they shouldn’t have a salary any lower than 4,500 kuna,” Perčin stated.
There are two state-owned companies within this sector, AKD-protection and Fina GS, who are both fully aware that they are in absolutely no danger of somehow failing or ”going under”, and therefore go with a very low service price. Perčin believes this to be unethical and proposes that the sector be privatised to reduce what could certainly be construed as an abuse of power.