The new Labour Act has introduced numerous changes of which some can be qualified as both significant and substantial. The changes entail alterations with regard to provisions which govern the duration of working hours, overtime work, execution of employment contracts, workers’ council, termination of employment contracts, strikes etc. Among others, the new Labour Act introduces the possibility of assignment of workers to an international subsidiary of the employer for a period of not longer than two years. This is an entirely new institute in the Croatian labour law which was not regulated by the previous Labour Act. Significant amendments were also made to the provisions which regulate working hours and the working hours schedule. The provisions governing full time work have been amended so as to allow employees already working full time to effectuate 8 more hours of additional work a week (180 hours a year) on occasional work. Also, the employer is obliged in the events, prescribed by the Labour Act, as those in which overtime work is allowed, to provide the employee with a written request regarding the overtime work (before the beginning of the work). If the urgency of the situation would prevent the employer to provide such a written request, he is obliged to issue a written confirmation of the request within seven days from making the request. Working hours of a worker engaged in overtime work are limited to fifty hours of work (both regular and overtime) a week. The new Labour Act specifically stipulates that its provisions which govern fixed- term employment contracts, termination of employment contracts, the notice period and the severance pay are not applied nor relevant for those natural persons which are, pursuant to the provisions of the Croatian Companies Act, members of the management board and in an employment relation with a company. Since the new Labour Act provided numerous changes to the Croatian labour law, it stands to reason that its application in real life will reveal the true nature of the amendments envisaged by the legislators.
Saša Divjak is name partner at Divjak, Topić & Bahtijarević Law Firm and Head of Corporate, Employment, Regulatory and IP practice groups, has 20 years of continuous counselling in major projects for market leaders in the Croatian and regional business community. Saša regularly advises businesses in the FMCG and retail industries on all aspects of establishing and running a business in Croatia. He provides advice on labour conflicts, employment agreements, labour relationship termination, and negotiating and preparing settlement agreements. Saša has specialized knowledge of the telecommunications, media, commercial insurance, and IT industries having advised on complex matters in those sectors.