Beware the Croatian Inspector: 2. Worker, Not Employee!

Total Croatia News

April 27, 2020 – Beware the Croatian inspector – a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. 

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia’s cafes, restaurants, and other businesses – the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialise in – sanitary, fiscal, etc – but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members’ experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia. 

Story #2: Worker, Not Employee!

So, the story goes back to 2008. The labor inspector came to the company, and after full few-week supervision, she found no irregularities. However, she searched for illegal workers, working hours records, overtime payments, registrations, sign-offs, payslips, etc. After she found nothing, because we are working 100% per the law, she nevertheless got hooked to one thing. In particular, the employment contract stated that it was concluded with “an employee” Pero Peric (a fictional name).

We received a misdemeanor charge because, in the employment contract, we wrote that the contract was concluded with an employee, while it should have been “with a worker.” She also told us that according to the labor law, the employment contract must be written in Croatian, and the word employee is not a Croatian word (?!?) but Russian. And that was why she was going to take us to court.

Imagine, we went to court because of some unintentional mistake that is so benign, harmless, and insignificant. Wasting time, resources, and nerves. We had to correct all the employment contracts and write the term “employee” correctly, i.e., replace it with the word “worker.” This is just one example! We have more.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via [email protected] Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page


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