The new Labour Act will seek to reduce all forms of precarious work, undeclared work and unfair competition, Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrović said in an interview with the HRT public broadcaster on Tuesday evening.
Estimated 30-40,000 workers, mostly young people, engage in online platform work in Croatia, he said.
Responding to the journalist remark that no EU country has managed to regulate this kind of work, Aladrović said that Croatia would be the second country in the EU after Ireland to do so.
“We expect to be the second EU country to do so. Ireland was the first. At the EU level, different kinds of lawsuits are being brought and legal practice differs with regard to online platform work. We believe that we can amend the Labour Act in such a way as to reduce subsequent court actions,” Aladrović said.
Asked if the matter would have to be regulated at the EU level as well, the minister said he was certain that it would, but added that this does not stop Croatia from regulating this form of work on its own.
He said the new law would also regulate teleworking, adding that it would demand employers to cover the utility costs of workers working from home.
“Before the COVID crisis, about 3 per cent of workers worked from home. An EU estimate was that 37 per cent of workers could work from home. We want to systematise the benefits and ensure that both the employer and the worker enjoy a higher level of protection, as well as that certain costs, are paid,” Aladrović said.
Asked who would monitor that, he said that the State Inspectorate was responsible for labour inspection. Aladrović said that one of the basic objectives of the new law was to reduce precarious work.
“In Croatia, about 25 per cent of work contracts are fixed-term contracts. Unfortunately, we are leaders in the EU in that regard. We want to reduce this number and make work certain. A problem is a large number of short-term contracts, so we want to limit the maximum duration of such contracts. Employers will have to explain why they are concluding a fixed-term contract,” Aladrović said.