The Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) said on Thursday that the period of crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was not the right time to increase the minimum wage.
The increase would affect industries the most, such as the textile industry, and they are already faced with many other issues, HUP said, noting that the textile industry and many others were affected by a constant increase in costs, especially those of energy and workers' transportation.
During the spring lockdown and later, HUP said, there were interruptions in business relations regarding delivery of goods, placement on the market in retail spaces, as well as orders, especially when it comes to Italy and Germany, and further cooperation with business partners abroad is in question.
The obligation to increase the minimum wage will put the viability of many companies and jobs in question, HUP director general Damir Zoric said.
The minimum net wage for 2021 will be HRK 3,400, or HRK 4,250 in the gross amount, which is HRK 150 or 4.61% more than the average minimum wage for 2020, it was determined by a decision on the minimum net wage adopted by the government on Thursday.
HUP recalled that the European Commission yesterday proposed a directive on minimum wages and collective bargaining, to which the BusinessEurope employers' confederation reacted strongly.
The proposition is contrary to the position of the majority of EU member states, as many are for a non-binding instrument, and it ignores strong objections by the European business community, BusinessEurope said in a press release.
Nordic trade unions also oppose the directive, since they do not want interference in the autonomous collective bargaining on wages between social partners, and so does the association of crafts and SMEs in Europe, SME United, BusinessEurope said.