ZAGREB, 13 May (Hina) – In the first four months of this year, over 7,000 companies asked the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) for permission to hire nearly 50,000 foreign nationals to work in 300 different occupations, the Večernji List daily said on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, around 84,000 foreign nationals were temporarily staying in Croatia in April, while about 10,000 had a permanent residence permit. They were mostly from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Ukraine, China, Nepal, India and the Philippines.
The jobs they are hired for are traditionally in short supply in Croatia and concern construction, tourism and hospitality, and the metal industry.
Between 2,300 and 3,000 applications were for assistant cooks, maids, cooks and bricklayers, and between 1,000 and 2,000 were for welders, locksmiths, plasterers, waiters/waitresses and cleaners.
Gross wages paid by companies may not be lower than the minimum wage for 2022, the newspaper quoted the HZZ as saying. The net monthly wage for a young foreigner without dependants would be between HRK 4,000 (€530) and 4,800 (€640).
The construction sector pays an average net monthly wage of around HRK 6,000 (€800), and the situation in the tourism and hospitality industry is similar. Highly-skilled workers are paid a gross wage of between HRK 7,100 (€945) and 7,600 (€1,010).
“No wonder then that there is a shortage of workers,” Večernji List said. “Foreigners being hired by domestic companies are increasingly coming from very poor Asian countries,” it added.
Although it is possible that in addition to the net wage employers pay per diems, non-taxable compensation, cover the cost of board and lodging for foreign workers, which increases their income and drives up the hourly wage, all that is too little for anyone to feel secure. In this way employers cannot count on getting the necessary number of workers, and workers cannot meet their basic needs, says the article signed by Ljubica Gatarić.