Croatian Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavic said on Tuesday that the government would on Wednesday allow the issuance of 2,000 more work permits for foreigners in the tourist industry plus an additional 1,000 work permits for foreigners in the construction sector.
Pavic said in an interview with the RTL commercial broadcaster that since employers have been urging the government to allow the employment of 5,000 more foreign workers, the government responded that they should exhaust the hiring possibilities in the country.
In this context, Pavic mentioned that out of 1,600 local job seekers registered by the Croatian Employment Service as available for seasonal employment, about 600 of them have been hired in the recent days.
He went on to say that the government had conducted an analysis which showed that three quarters of employers who hired foreign workers, had not at all advertised vacancies on the Croatian market.
Therefore, the authorities are considering an option whereby employers will be required to seek labour force first in Croatia before resorting to foreign labour force.
The purpose of such measure is to make it impossible for the reduction of salaries, according to Pavic.
In late December 2018 the government decided that 65,100 permits could be issued to foreign workers in 2019, including 15,000 permits that have already been extended. The highest number of the work permits referred to construction, tourism and transport.
Under that decision, the quota for 2019 included 20,331 more work permits than in 2018 and nearly 13,000 referred to tourism and construction.
The minister ruled out his resignation which has been demanded by unions that collected signatures for the restoration of statutory pension age from 67 to 65.