Minister Maric: Shorter Work Week is Possible Because of COVID-19

Lauren Simmonds

As far as Croatian companies are concerned, the most important thing for them is to ensure liquidity. As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 12th of March, 2020, Finance Minister Maric made a guest appearance yesterday on RTL to talk about responses to the economic crisis that could be caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

”I understand, but with all due respect, I think that these are moments for constructive criticism, for us to put all our heads together, which is the message of today’s meeting. I think a timely dialogue has been launched,” Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said during his appearance on RTL Direkt.

“Everything the headquarters [for civil protection] is doing is within existing means. The situation is serious, but at this point, based on all the parameters, nothing has happened that would insist on taking an extreme measure. The ”zero” goal is people’s health, and then the first goal is to preserve jobs and liquidity for our companies,” Maric pointed out.

”A year and a half ago, five billion kuna was paid out to citizens. We did something long before the crisis came so that employers can pay more to their workers,” Minister Maric said.

Schools are closing in Istria on Friday, raising the question of what will happen to parents who will not be able to work because they will have to stay home with their child. “We had a similar topic a few months ago and at that time, as parents, we had to deal with it in one way or another,” Maric said, alluding to the teachers’ strike.

Increasingly, one of the possible measures for the public is the shortening of the working week.

“It’s one of the things we can talk about, but we’re not specifically talking about it today. Employers are first concerned with liquidity. From the point of view of preserving the workplace, shortening working hours would be possible in the next step if things became further complicated,” noted Maric.

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