By Natasa Radic – Zagreb
By the end of the year Croatia will have two new labor laws. The amendments, which were included in the first Labour Act, were already discussed in Parliament last week. Although the government and the Minister of Labour and Pension System Mirando Mrsic emphasized that all changes have been introduced for compliance with the EU legislation and the protection of workers, the opposition pointed to several inconsistencies that favor the employer, as well as facilitating the dismissal of employees.
So far, the extension of fixed-term contracts may have lasted up to three years. Under the new law, fixed-term contract will be signed on for more than three years with clearly specified reasons.
-Now more than 80 percent of fixed-term contracts have been signed and we have to change that. For example, if there is someone on long-term sick leave, it can be substituted by another person for more than three years – said Minister Mrsic.
From July 1st Croatian citizens will no longer have a working licences in the paper form, where all the records were kept. Now, all such information will be updated on the website of the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance, and everyone will be able to get to their data over the Internet.
Furthermore, the new legislative proposes that the overtime may last 8 hours a week instead of 32 hours per month as was the case earlier.
During the probationary period, the worker is not in any way protected anymore. Specifically, the employer now under the new Labour Law can fire the worker during the probe period without any foundation in the employment law – he can just state the failure of probation as a just cause for dismissal.
Daily rest between two working days will no longer have to take at least ten hours but will be reduced to eight, so that, for example, a waiter who served for dinner in the evening, will be able to serve the breakfast in the morning.
-New Labor Law does not protect workers, but makes it easier for employers to manipulate employees, who are now left without any protection. At the destroyed Croatian labor market, there are nearly 400,000 people out of work, and these legislative proposals are just an extra knife in the back of the citizens – said Tina D., journalist from Split.