ZAGREB, Aug 20, 2020 – Labour, Pension System, Family, and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrovic said on Thursday that amendments to the Labour Act need to better regulate work from home, that 18,000 more people are working now than prior to the epidemic, and that pension allowances would certainly not be cut in the autumn.
“We had previously said that we would amend the Labour Act and that we would alter labour legislation. One of the things we need to discuss with our social partners – the unions and employers – is work from home. That needs to be better regulated and better defined. What the autumn may bring in terms of working conditions and whether the scenario from March and April may be repeated is very uncertain,” said Aladrovic.
He added that regarding the latest situation all options were open and that talks with social partners were necessary in that regard.
“The unions have announced that they wish to go more towards a national collective agreement while we consider that the Labour Act needs to be amended because there are several topics that need to be discussed, not just work from home,” he added.
“If goodwill exists for an agreement and if our starting and ending positions are close, I think we can quickly resolve this issue. This doesn’t only relate to work from home but to closed and open-ended contracts and additional and supplementary work,” said Aladrovic.
So far 199 beneficiaries and 72 carers infected in aged care facilities
Asked about the announcement of “heavy” autumn and whether citizens need to be concerned about their jobs, wages, and pensions, Aladrovic said that pensions are “secure and stable.”
“We’ve said before that that is the last line of defence… I’m certain that pensions will not be reduced or altered. As far as wages are concerned, trends indicate that over the past two, three months, they have been growing. At first, they fell but now they are growing. There are 18,000 people more employed now than before the start of the coronavirus crisis and I think that we will manage to hold out in the autumn,” he said and added that the government had managed to save jobs but also that there was a recovery plan foreseen, and European and national funds.
He also commented on some countries putting Croatia on their lists of high coronavirus risk countries.
“I would say that it is partially due to political reasons but unfortunately also because the number of infections has been growing for several days. We have shown so far that we can handle the crisis economy-wise and I am certain that we can do that again in the months to come,” he added.
Aladrovic presented the results of measures implemented in cooperation with the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the health ministry to protect the elderly population from the coronavirus, above all in aged care facilities, saying that 12 recommendations and decisions had been prepared.
“About 26,000 beneficiaries are residing in more than 868 facilities and so far 199 cases of the infection among beneficiaries have been identified and 72 among carers. Unfortunately, 46 beneficiaries have died. Since the start of the second wave in June, eight beneficiaries have died. These are acceptable data. The thing that we will do in the coming period is to raise awareness among the elderly and strengthen the ministry’s crisis management team,” he said.