Can Croatian Employees Expect a 13th Salary Payment?

Lauren Simmonds

croatian employees

August the 29th, 2023 – The concept of being paid a thirteenth monthly wage in a period of twelve months is somewhat commonplace in certain countries. It isn’t the case here – yet. Could Croatian employees soon expect what would be a very welcome change?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, although it isn’t yet legally regulated, there are many countries where a high percentage of employees actually receive the a thirteenth salary payment, because it has become established as a good business practice, especially in the richer countries of the European Union. In these countries, such as Germany, Austria, Belgium or Denmark, the thirteenth salary payment is determined by agreement at the level of each individual industry, so ultimately the outcome of these negotiations depends on the strength of the economy and the trade unions, as reported by Novi list.

As such, the payment of a thirteenth salary payment in the public sector would be the result of an agreement between the national government and those who represent employees in the public sector. According to messages from the ministry this regards, such an outcome is unlikely for Croatian employees, although next year is an election year in which the presidential, parliamentary and European Parliament elections are all set to take place. Experience shows that these are precisely the years when unions in the public sector were the most successful in achieving their often long-sought demands.

When it comes to the private sector, the payment of a thirteenth salary for Croatian employees is not as common as it is the western Member States of the European Union. Croatia often doesn’t have collective branch agreements for certain economic activities, so agreeing on the payment of a thirteenth salary is highly unlikely. That said, over the last few years, individual companies have decided to reward their employees with another salary on top of their normal twelve monthly payments, mostly in response to the lack of workers and in an attempt to keep hold of the ones still remaining. In some companies, by raising various fees and paying awards, an amount greater than what a thirteen salary payment would be is paid annually. This has especially been the case since the government significantly increased the amounts up to which these fees and awards can be paid to employees without the need to pay accompanying taxes.


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