Seasonal workers

Third-country nationals who are to be engaged in seasonal work may be issued a stay and work permit under the annual quota of permits adopted by the Croatian Government.

Seasonal workers may work on the basis of a stay and work permit for seasonal work:
  • up to 90 days, or
  • up to six months.

A stay and work permit for seasonal work may be granted to seasonal workers if they:
  1. have a valid foreign travel document during the period of validity of a stay and work permit,
  2. have a valid contract of employment, or a written confirmation that a contract of employment has been concluded, or a binding employment offer from the employer including the mandatory content of the contract of employment,
  3. have health insurance,
  4. have been provided appropriate accommodation,
  5. are not considered threat for public policy, national security and public health,
  6. have not been banned entry and stay in the EEA or the Republic of Croatia.

The conditions for granting a stay and work permit for seasonal work referred to in items 2, 3 and 4 have to be in line with the regulations of the Republic of Croatia and the collective agreement binding for the employer.

Appropriate accommodation that has to be provided in order to be granted a stay and work permit for seasonal work means the accommodation that will ensure appropriate living standard of seasonal workers during the entire period of their stay. The seasonal worker and the employer have to notify the police administration/police station of any change of accommodation within eight days from the change.

The following is considered as appropriate accommodation:
  1. accommodation in a fixed structure that has to have a toilet which needs to be physically separated from the sleeping and living premises,
  2. accommodation in a facility where running water, heating (except for the premises where seasonal workers stay in summer months) and electricity have been provided,
  3. accommodation which meets other health and hygiene living conditions in line with special regulations.

A maximum of six workers may stay at premises intended for sleeping, living and food preparation.

The equipment and appliances at the premises must not be worn-out or damaged and they should be functional.

The height of the rooms at the premises (the height from the floor to the ceiling) has to allow for free and safe movement of workers.

Male and female sleeping quarters have to be physically separated, unless they are family members who are seasonal workers. Premises for food preparation have to be positioned in such a way as to allow individual food preparation.

The minimum space to be provided for the accommodation of a single seasonal worker has to be 14 m2 (including sleeping quarters, premises for food preparation and sanitary facilities):
 
Number of persons Minimum space to be provided
1 14 m2
2 20 m2
3 26 m2
4 32 m2
5 38 m2
6 44 m2
 
If the accommodation is arranged by or through the employer, the cost of accommodation:
  • has to be proportionate to the amount of salary of a seasonal worker and must not exceed 30% net salary amount, nor should it be automatically deducted from the salary, and
  • the employer has to provide the seasonal worker with a rental contract or an equivalent document clearly stating the rental conditions for the accommodation.

If the employer arranges accommodation for a seasonal worker free of charge, the worker has to be provided with a document clearly stating the accommodation conditions.

When applying for a stay and work permit for seasonal workers, the applicant also has to sign a statement confirming that his/her accommodation meets the above standards.

Seasonal workers may work in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of a stay and work permit for seasonal work up to six months a year. After that, they have to leave the Republic of Croatia.
Seasonal workers may once in a six month period a year extend their stay and work permit for seasonal work with the same or some other employer.

The application for the extension of a stay and work permit for seasonal work is submitted at a police administration/police station no longer than 30 days before the current permit expires.

Rights of seasonal workers

Seasonal workers are entitled to the same rights as Croatian workers with regard to the following:
  1. the terms of employment, including the minimum working age, and working conditions, including the salary and termination of a contract of employment, working hours, breaks, leaves, holidays and non-working days, as well as health and safety requirements at the workplace;
  2. right to strike and take part in industrial action, freedom of association and affiliation and membership in unions and any other professional organisations, as well as to rights and benefits conferred by those organisations, including the right to negotiate and conclude collective agreements, without prejudice to the provisions on public policy and national security,
  3. back payments to be made by the employers, concerning any outstanding remuneration to the third-country national,
  4. branches of social security, as defined in Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004,
  5. access to goods and services and the supply of goods and services made available to the public, except housing, without prejudice to the freedom of contract in accordance with Union and national law,
  6. advice services on seasonal work afforded by the competent public employment office,
  7. education and vocational training,
  8. recognition of diplomas, certificates and other professional qualifications in accordance with special legislation,
  9. tax benefits, in so far as the seasonal worker is deemed to be resident for tax purposes in the Republic of Croatia.

Seasonal workers moving to a third country, or the survivors of those seasonal workers residing in a third country, deriving rights from the seasonal worker receive pensions based on the seasonal worker’s previous employment and pensions acquired in accordance with the legislation set out in Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004, under the same conditions as Croatian nationals when they move to a third country.

Seasonal workers exercise the above rights in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Croatia and a collective agreement binding the employer, if any, which define the above said matters.

The competent police administration/police station will provide seasonal workers with a paper containing information on their rights and obligations during their stay and work in the Republic of Croatia.

Judicial protection

Seasonal workers who believe that some of their rights guaranteed by the Aliens Act have been infringed may, in order to protect and claim those rights, initiate relevant proceedings against the employer before the competent court, government authorities or legal entities with public authorities in the Republic of Croatia, in line with the legislation of the Republic of Croatia.

Seasonal workers may initiate the above proceedings even after the termination of their employment with the said employer, in line with the legislation of the Republic of Croatia.

Seasonal workers who have initiated the proceedings to protect their rights referred to in the first paragraph cannot be put in an unfavourable situation in relation to other workers employed with the employer, nor should this circumstance have an adverse effect on their rights under their employment.

In the proceedings to protect their rights, seasonal workers may, upon giving their authority, be represented by persons authorised for providing legal assistance, as well as associations and other organisations authorised to do so in line with special legislation.