Main legislative framework for labour relations is provided by Labour Act. Provisions of the Act provide safeguards both for the employer and the employee. Some specific issues, like health insurance and education, are more specifically regulated by special legislative acts and/or international treaties that are in force in the Republic of Croatia.

Employers, employees, workers’ council, trade unions and employers can agree on working conditions that are more favourable for the employee than those set by law. Employer, employers’ associations and trade unions can agree in a collective agreement on less favourable working conditions than those prescribed in the Labour Act, but only if the law expressly provides for that. If any of the rights deriving from the employment is regulated differently in the employment contract, work regulations, agreements between the workers’ council and the employer, collective agreement or law, the right that is most beneficial for the employee will be applied, unless the Labour Act or any other act provides otherwise.

Every employer who employs more than twenty employees is obligated to adopt and publish work regulations which govern salaries, organization of work, procedures and measures to protect the dignity of workers, safeguards against discrimination and other issues important to employees employed by the employer, if those matters are not covered by the collective agreement.

Content of the Employment

Employment relationship is based on the employment contract of indefinite duration. An employment contract may exceptionally be concluded for a definite time but only for those jobs where their termination is determined by objective reasons justified by deadline, performance of a specific task or occurrence of a specific event.

Labour Act limits the duration of the employment contract for a definite time to no longer than three years. Breaks between employments that last less than two months shall not be considered as an interruption of a three year limit.

Employment contract should be concluded in a written form. The failure of the parties to conclude a contract in a written form does not affect the existence and validity of that contract. If the employer fails to conclude the contract in a written form with the employee or does not issue a written confirmation of the conclusion of the contract before the beginning of the employment, it will be considered that the employment contract is for an indefinite period of time.

Employment contract must contain following provisions on:

1. Parties and their residence or headquarters;
2. Place of work, or if there is no permanent or principal place of work, remark that the work is carried out at various places,
3. Job title or the nature or type of work for which the employee is employed or a short list or a job description,
4. Date of commencement of work,
5. Expected duration of the contract, in cases of an employment for a definite time,
6. Duration of the paid annual leave to which the employee is entitled, or, where such information cannot be given at the time of the contract conclusion or issuance of a confirmation, the way in which the duration of this leave will be determined,
7. Termination notice periods to be observed by the employee and the employer, or where such information cannot be given at the time of the conclusion of the contract or the issuance of a confirmation, the method for determining termination notice periods,
8. Basic salary, salary supplements and payment of earnings to which the employee is entitled,
9. Duration of a regular work-day or week.

Instead of defining provisions set in paragraphs 6, 7, 8 and 9, employment contract or confirmation may refer to the relevant laws, work regulations, collective agreements or employment rules governing these issues.

Lowest age limit of an employee

Persons younger than 15 or persons who are 15 years of age or older, but bellow 18, and who are still attending compulsory primary education, cannot enter into an employment contract.

Trial work

When concluding an employment contract, trial work period may be agreed upon. Trial work period may not exceed six months. If trial work period is agreed upon, the termination period should last for at least seven days. Not meeting expectations of the trial work is an especially justified reason for the cancellation of the employment contract. The aforementioned cancellation is not liable to the Act on Cancellation of Employment Contract, except article 120, article 121 paragraph 1. and article 125.