More than 7,000 people apply for permission to employ 50,000 foreign nationals
ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 – In the first four months of this year, more than 7,000 companies applied to the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) for permission to hire almost 50,000 foreign nationals to work in 300 professions different, the daily Večernji List reported on Thursday.
According to the Interior Ministry, around 84,000 foreign nationals were temporarily staying in Croatia in April, while around 10,000 had permanent residence permits. They came mostly from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Ukraine, China, Nepal, India and the Philippines.
The jobs they are hired for are traditionally rare in Croatia and relate to construction, tourism and hospitality, and metallurgy.
Between 2,300 and 3,000 applications were for kitchen helpers, cleaners, cooks and masons, and between 1,000 and 2,000 were for welders, locksmiths, plasterers, waiters/waitresses and cleaners.
Gross wages paid by companies cannot be lower than the minimum wage for 2022, the newspaper quoted HZZ as saying. The net monthly salary of a young foreigner without dependents would be between 4,000 HRK (530 €) and 4,800 HRK (640 €).
The construction sector pays an average net monthly salary of around HRK 6,000 (€800), and the situation in the tourism and hospitality industry is similar. Highly qualified workers receive a gross salary between 7,100 HRK (945 €) and 7,600 HRK (1,010 €).
“No wonder then that there is a shortage of workers,” Večernji List said. “Foreigners hired by domestic companies are increasingly coming from very poor Asian countries,” he added.
Although it is possible that in addition to take-home pay, employers may pay per diems, non-taxable allowances, cover the cost of accommodation and meals for foreign workers, which increases their income and raises the hourly wage, while that’s too little for anyone to feel safe. In this way, employers cannot count on the necessary number of workers and workers cannot meet their basic needs, says the article signed by Ljubica Gatarić.
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