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Croatian Employers’ Association says new Foreign Nationals Act must be flexible

ZAGREB, Sept 9 (Hina) – The Croatian Employers’ Association (HUP) warned on Wednesday that the new Foreign Nationals Act must be flexible and that the abolishment of quotas must not lead to a more complicated model.

Employers believe that the amendments to the Foreign Nationals Act should strive toward the easiest possible application of the law, so positive changes, such as the introduction of a system of employment with no quotas, must not be compromised by the creation of a more complicated and rigid model which would make it more difficult for employers to hire new workers, the press release said.

HUP primarily expects that the new system will enable simpler and faster employment of foreigners in case there are no domestic workers on the labour market.

They noted that HUP had repeatedly called for the introduction of a more liberal model with no quotas, so that workers from abroad could be hired depending on the current needs of a particular employer.

The new Foreign Nationals Act proposes such a model, with which HUP agrees, but they think that some other requirements which are in the current bill and which place even tougher restrictions on employers than the quota model should be eased, noting that many of them cannot be fulfilled when an employer urgently needs to hire new workers.

As for the Croatian Employment Service conducting a labour market test, HUP said that this part was unclear, as was the role of the state as an intermediary between an employer and a worker.

HUP will continue to communicate requests for the simplification of the conditions to the government with the aim of creating a good law that will enable employers to hire new workers more efficiently and quickly, thus increasing their competitiveness, HUP said.

On August 27, the government sent to the parliament the bill on foreign nationals, under which there is no longer an annual quota for the employment of foreigners and which provides that before applying for a temporary residence and work permit for foreign nationals, employers are obliged to request that the Croatian Employment Service conducts a labour market test.

According to Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, scarce occupations are an exception and do not require a labour market test. They include carpenters, bricklayers, waiters, butchers, as well as seasonal workers in agriculture, forestry, hospitality and tourism hired for up to 90 days.

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