Finance Minister Maric Explains Government Minimum Wage Measure

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac writes on the 11th of April, 2020, Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Maric commented on the government’s ”minimum wage” measures for RTL on Friday, stating that the amount being offered by the government was not the workers’ full pay but merely support for wages. Minister Maric went on to make the measure more clear.

“This [measure] is payroll support. We [the government] cover that part, the rest is up to the employer to make up for if the worker otherwise has a higher salary. The salary should be as is stated in their employment contract. But if someone has run into problems, then he or she needs to solve them with the employee. That’s why we have other measures, such as credit measures of liquidity,” explained Minister Maric.

When asked about workers who are otherwise paid less than 4,000 kuna and the state pays the affected companies an amount of 4,000 kuna per worker, Minister Maric said that it would be fair for the employer to pay the worker the difference up to 4,000 kuna.

Finance Minister Maric didn’t express any particular desire to talk about possible salary cuts for public sector employees amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, stating only that those matters needed to be discussed.

“This is a topic that we have on the table. There was a meeting yesterday. I hope that the talks will continue. We’ll also invite the unions with which we’ve signed collective bargaining agreements. In this part, solidarity and community are important in defeating the crisis,” he said.

He added that at present, the state has paid over one billion and one hundred million kuna out to employers to make up the wage differences of their employees as part of these “minimum wage” anti-epidemic economic measures. That is for more than 370,000 employees, and the total measure, he assumes, will be used by 600,000.

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