Maximum Working Hours & Overtime Laws in Croatia
The Croatian working hours are usually Monday to Friday 8:30-9 AM to 4:30-5:00 PM, with 30 minutes of paid break for lunch included.
The weekly working hours are 40 (8 hours a day, 5 days a week).
The daily maximum is 8 working hours. Under certain conditions, such as an emergency or an extraordinary increase in business volume, employers can require employees to work overtime — up to 10 hours a day / 50 hours a week / 180 hours a year. That time is considered overtime and as such must be paid for and cannot impact the two days off employees are entitled to weekly.
Part-time employees (with more than one employer), pregnant employees, employees with a child younger than three years old, or a single parent employee with a child younger than six years must give their written consent before working overtime.
Employees cannot opt out of the maximum weekly working hours, although the subject has been part of ongoing debates on reforms to the national labour legislation. However, employers and employees are free to agree to flexible working hours, which is often applicable to those working remotely.
Employees working beyond the maximum daily or weekly hours are entitled to overtime compensation; however, the law doesn’t stipulate any certain amount. That amount should be included in the employment or collective agreement. Employers are allowed to require employees to work overtime only if absolutely necessary and must first present them with a written request. If the employer is unable to provide that written request in advance, they must confirm a verbal request in writing within seven days of requiring the overtime.
Employees are entitled to a 30-minute break, inclusive of the working hours if they work for at least 6 hours in a day; a rest period of at least 12 hours for every day worked; and a rest period of two days weekly.
Night work applies to those who regularly work at least three hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. or at least one-third of their time during the night for 12 months. Night workers cannot exceed an average of 8 hours daily in four months, with additional restrictions to those exposed to special hazard and/or heavy physical or mental strain. Night workers are entitled to additional remuneration, although no specific amount is stipulated by law.
Employee Time Tracking Obligations in Croatia
As stipulated by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2019, employers in every EU member country must set up an objective, reliable, and accessible system to enable them to measure the duration of time worked each day by their employees. The objective is to control the number of employees who work overtime and the state of their health, and make sure they are paid accordingly (in countries with statutory overtime pay) and not exceed the maximum hours worked (for countries not offering opt-out options to employees).
The employer may leave the time-tracking to the employee. However, if an employer notices that this approach does not work, they must intervene.
In Croatia, the time-tracking often depends on the agreement between the employer and employee and is done via an internal timesheet.
As the ECJ ruling is fairly recent, it remains to be seen whether further and stricter sanctions will be imposed if a working time recording system is not introduced.
However, Croatian labour law stipulates the HRK 61,000–100,000 fine on employers for not keeping records of employees and working hours, not keeping them in the prescribed manner, or not submitting this data at the request of a labour inspector.