Aladrovic: While receiving gov't subsidies, employers must not lay off workers



Zagreb, 130520.
Trg svetog Marka, Sabor RH.
Nastavak 16. sjednice Sabora RH.
Na fotografiji: Josip Aladrovic.
Foto: Damjan Tadic / CROPIX
Damjan Tadic / CROPIX

Minister of Labour and Pension System Josip Aladrovic

Minister of Labour and Pension System Josip Aladrovic said on Thursday that employers who receive the government's job retention subsidies are obliged to keep their workers as long as that measure lasts.

"As long as an employer is receiving government subsidies, they cannot lay off workers. Hence, the job retention subsides... are in force from 1 March to 31 May and in that period workers cannot be laid off," Aladrovic said, adding that this is specified in a document adopted by the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ).

Aladrovic made the statement after a cabinet meeting responding to claims by reporters that employers would not be allowed to lay off workers three months after the job retention measures expire.

Aladrovic said that extensive talks were held with employers and unions about the measures and that the basic idea is to retain jobs because at the time a great deal of uncertainty prevailed among employers.

We talked about all models, however, the HZZ agreed that the measures be consumed for three months and that that is the only obligation for employers that exists, along with a certain percentage of workers who were laid off which we at that time estimated was opportune, and now, with some time having passed, we can see that employers did not even use that opportunity to lay off workers, said Aladrovic.

Hence the employers' obligations lasts as long as the measures last, he added.

He said that subsidies paid out in March related to a little less than 500,000 employees, while some applications for April are still being processed. However, he expects the April subsidies will be paid by mid-next week.

So far HRK 800 million has been paid out and Aladrovic expects that subsidies for April will be paid for just under 600,000 workers.

He underlined that HZZ data shows that in the past few days unemployment was decreasing while 6,700 new pension insurees have been registered with the Pension Insurance Institute in the past 10 days.

That means that the relaxation of epidemiological restrictions on work that existed in March and April are leading to positive steps as to economic indicators, he said, adding that he hopes that trend will continue.