Croatian Fixed-Term Employment Limited to Three Year Period

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, last week, the government adopted a proposal for legal amendments that should enter into force at the beginning of next year, with the exception of provisions related to work via digital platforms as one of the new forms of work, for which the start of application is scheduled for 2024. Considering the widespread practice of Croatian fixed-term employment, one of the most important changes since January refers to that specifically.

In order to prevent the unjustified consecutive conclusion of Croatian fixed-term contracts, a limit wil be introduced for them so that they can do on for a maximum of three years, that is, a maximum of three consecutive contracts concluded with the same employer, pointed out the minister in charge, Marin Piletic. Amendments to the law also stipulate the obligation to contract the salary in the gross amount and pay it into the employee’s transaction account.

Changes are also set to follow in the regulation of additional work for another employer, without the consent of the ‘parent employer’ and with a greater number of permitted hours of such work. At the same time, a new way of performing permanent seasonal jobs is being introduced, which includes work for an indefinite period of time and the possibility of legal work outside of the main season.

Among other things, Piletic apostrophised the fact that working at a separate place of work, i.e. working from home and/or working remotely, is being regulated more properly. Along those same lines, certain categories of employees, primarily parents of children up to eight years of age, will receive additional protection in terms of unequal working hours and overtime.

Starting next year, employees will have the right to five days of unpaid leave a year to provide personal care for a family or household member, and they will be able to miss one day from work for urgent family reasons. Among other things, the proposed changes foresee the absence of the right to a notice period and severance pay for workers who exercise the right to an old-age pension with the purpose of encouraging employers to keep older workers on in their places of employment, explained the minister.

Finally, from next year on, union members who signed a collective agreement will be able to negotiate certain more favourable material rights for themselves compared to non-union members. It’s also worth mentioning that during the public consultation on the proposal for amendments to the Labour Law, as many as 774 comments were received, along with general remarks that the timing of the e-consultation – in the middle of the summer holiday season – was highly inappropriate.

The largest number of remarks and comments related to Croatian fixed-term contracts, permanent employment, additional work and work that is performed at a designated place, ie from home or remotely, especially related to compensation of workers’ expenses.

Although in general most of the comments were either not accepted or only noted, some suggestions were indeed readily accepted.

As such, in connection with the issue of Croatian fixed-term contracts, the proposed provisions have been amended in the section that refers to the definition of objective reasons and the prescription of exceptions, so that they are linked only to the longest period, and not to the number of contracts concluded with the same employer, and at the same time, exceptions related the work of foreign citizens were also removed.

And although employers welcomed some changes in the Labour Law, HUP (Croatian Employers’ Association) has already called on the Government and the competent ministry to start the drafting process instead of “attempting to solve matters by intervention to the detriment of those whom the law should protect” of a completely new, modern Labour Law.

However, the changes to the Labour Law, as well as those of the Law on Prevention of Undeclared Work, are related, among other things, to the deadlines for the execution of certain goals set by the National Recovery and Resilience plan, so a completely new Labour Law is clearly not an option for the Croatian Government at this moment in time.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.


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