“It started all being talked about because at the beginning of the pandemic, the Government wanted to suspend a good part of the Labour Law. Various unions from across Europe reacted to that, so Plenkovic instead decided to do it step by step and Minister Aladrovic was given the task of coming up with a new Labour Law which would include suspensions under the justification of regulating work from home,” said MP Katarina Peovic, adding:
“This has been being done in secret and in non-transparent conditions for a year and a half now. What comes out of it isn’t good – to have more flexibility in terms of working hours, the workplace, but to the detriment of the employees themselves. It’s criminal that we received the draft law without the Government ever having made it public. I’ll state without hesitation what we’ve seen. If an employee is unable to meet something introduced in the draft (such as having to deal with unpredictable working hours), then they will be allowed to switch to part-time work, especially if they’re in a situation like needing to care for a child, an elderly person or someone who isn’t well,” Peovic said.
“We suggest shortening the working week down from 40 to 35 working hours”
Asked what the most important emphases we can take from this are, and what the changes that will bring better conditions for workers about are, MP Katarina Peovic said: “First, the most important thing is to arrange the institute of temporary work. We were the first in all of Europe in terms of having rather precarious and non-standard employment contracts, now we’re in second place. This is a plague in this country, about 21% of people are working on fixed-term contracts. We’ve proposed that the three-year limit be reduced to one year. Secondly, we propose shortening the working week from 40 down to 35 working hours. Croats work more than the European average, around 10 hours more than the Dutch do per week.
“The definition of a basic salary is important. Workers working for minimum wage work overtime and even on Sundays in order to reach the minimum wage, which is completely unacceptable,” she added.
“Our average salary is at the level of the Slovenian minimum”
She pointed out that she often agrees with the ruling party when it comes to detecting the problem, but not when it comes to proposing a proper and working solution: “If there is one topic that should connect the left-leaning parties, then it’s the topic of work. We’ve been following Croatia’s race to the absolute bottom for decades. We have over 800,000 able-bodied people who are unemployed. We’re a country that has no solution for almost a million able-bodied people. Such a country cannot prosper. We cannot reduce ourselves to tourism alone. Our average salary is at the Slovenian minimum level, and our cost of living is no higher than that of Slovenia.”
MP Katarina Peovic also revealed what the Croatian minimum wage according to the research should be:
“The new union conducted an in-depth research and stated that the minimum wage that could cover all living expenses should be over 10 thousand kuna.”
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