Social Partners Reach High Level of Agreement on Sunday Work, Employers Skeptical

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The GSV discussed regulating Sunday work through the Trade Act, the action plan for implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights, and revised EU guidelines for regional aid.

Minister: We wish to strengthen collective bargaining .to define hourly wage consensually

Labour Minister Josip Aladrović said the government planned to amend the Trade Act because most of the contentious elements concerning Sunday work appeared in trade.

“In future, we wish to strengthen collective bargaining, where unions and employers can consensually establish how much the hourly wage is worth on Sunday or other special days. We expect there to be as many consensually defined relations as possible,” he said.

The press reminded him that the Constitutional Court had rejected previous attempts to ban Sunday work. Aladrović said that the new bill balanced the contentious constitutional and legal aspects much better.

“We are confident we will avoid any problems concerning the constitutionality of the law. A balance has been struck between the number of working and non-working Sundays. There have been no major objections in the discussions. I’m confident the law will go into force by year’s end.”

Asked whether now was the right time to change the law, Aladrović said the crisis caused by the epidemic was “vanishing” in the economic sense and that the next period would bring strong recovery.

“We believe the segments within the trade sector will recover and that in the period in which the law will be passed, we will no longer have that economic challenge.”

Aladrović said the 16 working Sundays a year struck a balance and enough to cover the peak tourist season and some holidays.

GSV chairman Vilim Ribić said the three social partners reached a high level of agreement at today’s meeting and that they were all for solving Sunday work.

Employers generally against administrative restrictions to freedom to work

Croatian Employers Association (HUP) president Mihael Furjan said HUP was generally against any administrative restrictions to freedom to work and conduct a business. Therefore, it needed more time to consider the bill.

“Consumption is recovering, and the economy is strongly recovering, export in Q1 grew strongly. We are confident that in Q2 already, we will generate growth in relation to last year.”

Business people are very optimistic but believe that at the moment, when we still have not fully come out of the crisis, it’s not smart to adopt measures that can reduce economic growth and activity, Furjan said.

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