Holiday Leave in Croatia
Employees are entitled to four weeks (20 days) of paid vacation yearly after six months of employment, which cannot be carried over past June 30th of the following year. Employees cannot waive their right to paid annual leave for compensation.
There are 13 national holidays in Croatia. People of various religions whose holidays are not part of the national calendar cannot be obliged to work on those dates. Employees required to work on a national holiday are entitled to extra pay, which is typically negotiated in the bargaining agreement.
Some employers may include Independence Day on June 25th as a holiday, although not a statutory holiday.
Croatia 2021 Holiday Calendar
|1/1/2021||Friday||New Year's Day|
|1/6/2021||Wednesday||Three King’s Day|
|6/22/2021||Tuesday||Anti-Fascist Struggle Day|
|8/15/2021||Sunday||Assumption of Mary|
|11/1/2021||Monday||All Saints Day|
|12/26/2021||Sunday||St. Stephen’s Day|
Types of Leave in Croatia
Employees who have made social security contributions for at least 9 consecutive months (or 12 months in 2 years with interruptions) are entitled to 70% of their pay. The Croatian Health Insurance Fund (“Hrvatski zavod za zdravstveno osiguranje or HZZO”) covers it for six months, with the payment based on the employee’s average net wage in the 6 months preceding sickness. Employers must cover sick pay for the first 42 days of sickness (7 days for employees with disabilities). Employees who don’t meet the requirements will be entitled to minimum sick pay unless the illness is caused by a work accident or occupational sickness. After 6 months, the sick pay is increased to 80%. Sick pay might be higher depending on the collective or employment agreement, but never lower than 70%.
Employees are entitled to sick pay until they recover or until they hit the limit of 18 months of uninterrupted sick leave for the same diagnosis. After this, the benefit is reduced by half.
Employees are entitled to 100% of their pay when the sickness results from an accident at work, homeland war, complications during pregnancy, donating organs, and nursing a sick child under the age of three.
Employers can recover sick pay from the HZZO from the 1st day of inability to work due to caring for a sick child and for a recognized injury at work or a professional disease.
Employees who have made social security contributions for at least nine consecutive months (or 12 months in two years with interruptions) are entitled to their full pay provided by the HZZO for the entire duration of the leave. The pay is based on their average net wage in the six months preceding the pregnancy. Employees who don’t meet the requirements are entitled to a reduced maternity pay of 70% of the budget base (HRK 2,328.20).
Pregnant employees get 28 days of maternity leave before the child’s birth (45 days in case of complications). They further get 70 days after birth or until the child turns six months old, in addition to other work-free days for child care, such as daily breaks for breastfeeding and shorter working hours.
A female employee can take additional maternity leave up to six months after birth. She can return to work within that time and transfer the remaining leave to the father. An employer cannot end a female employee’s contract during her pregnancy or within the first six months after birth.
Adoptive parents, caregivers of a minor child, or foster parents have the same entitlement to maternity leave and pay as parents of a child (married or cohabitating).
Expectant mothers can take time off work to attend prenatal examinations, equivalent to one working day per month, which can be broken down in hours that can be used multiple times throughout the month. Employees must inform their employers of their intention in writing at least two days before taking leave. This time is considered time spent at work, and employers must pay their salaries usually.
Mothers are entitled to two hours a day away from work to breastfeed during the first year of their childbirth. The break can be used once a day for two hours or twice a day for one hour each time. The leave is paid in full by the government and capped at the budget rate, recalculated to the hourly rate.
There’s no statutory paternity leave and pay in Croatia. However, mothers can choose to share the remainder of their maternity leave, either fully or partially, with the father. (The first 70 days after the child’s birth must be used by the mother.)
Employees adopting their first two children under 18 years of age are entitled to a six-month adoption leave paid as a maternity leave. If twins or subsequent children are adopted, the leave is extended by 60 days. After this period, the adoptive parents of a child under 8 years of age have the right to parental leave.
Following the first 6 months after birth, which are covered under a maternity leave, parents are entitled to a parental leave. Each parent can take 4 months per child for the first two kids and 15 months for any subsequent children or twins. They must use the leave before the child turns eight. If only one parent takes the leave, it can last 6 or 30 months.
A parental leave can be used fully at once or partially, but not more than twice a year with a minimum period of 30 days each time. The first six months (eight if both parents take the leave) of the leave include full pay, capped at 170% of the budget base monthly (HRK 5,654.20). The remainder is compensated at 70% of the budget base (HRK 2,328.20). The HZZO covers the leave.
Adoptive parents, caregivers of a minor child, and foster parents are also entitled to a parental leave. The leave can also be used as a right to work part-time until the child reaches three years of age. In that case, the duration of unused parental leave is doubled, while the compensation is half of the full-time parental leave.
Child care leave
Employees can get a child care leave in two circumstances:
- Caring for a child with health or development problems: One parent is entitled to work half of their working hours and get a cash benefit of HRK 2,328 monthly until the child turns three. The health or development problems must be assessed and confirmed by the selected primary health care doctor and the competent medical committee of the HZZO. Both parents must be employed to exercise this right.
- Caring for a child with a severe developmental disability: One parent is entitled to childcare leave until a child with severe physical or mental impairment reaches eight years of age. They are entitled to a cash benefit of HRK 2,328 monthly. The condition must be assessed and approved by the Institute for Expertise, Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities. Both parents must be employed to exercise this right.
Special event leave
Employees get seven days off per year for special life events, such as marriage, childbirth, and serious illness or funeral of a family member. Employees have the right to full remuneration during the leave, paid by the employer.
Education & training leave
Employees are entitled to paid time off for educational or vocational training for the workers’ council or trade union work. The duration and compensation terms may be provided for by a collective agreement, by a contract between the employer and the workers’ council, or by the rules of procedure.
Blood donation leave
Employees are entitled to one paid day when donating blood unless the collective or employment agreement stipulates otherwise.
Unpaid time off
Employees may request their employers for unpaid time off for situations such as a sabbatical, which wouldn’t constitute statutory time off. If the employer grants it, the rights and obligations related to their employment are suspended for the leave duration.