Rivermate | Croatia flag


Benefits and Entitlements Overview

Learn about mandatory and optional employee benefits in Croatia

Mandatory benefits

In Croatia, a comprehensive set of employee benefits are mandated, ensuring social security and promoting a healthy work environment. Understanding these obligations is crucial for employers operating in the country.

Core Mandatory Benefits

  • Social Security: Croatia's social security system provides several mandatory benefits:
    • Pension Insurance: Employees contribute to a pension plan that provides income after retirement.
    • Health Insurance: All employees are enrolled in the national health insurance program, granting access to a network of public healthcare providers and covering a broad range of medical services.
    • Unemployment Insurance: Offers financial support for a limited period in case of job loss.
    • Parental Leave Benefits: Employees are entitled to paid parental leave, including maternity leave, paternity leave, and parental leave.
  • Annual Leave: Employees accrue paid annual leave, typically 26 working days per year, with the possibility of accruing more based on factors like seniority.

    • Public Holidays: Employees are entitled to paid time off for 10-15 official public holidays each year, depending on the specific holiday.
    • Sick Leave: Employees are generally entitled to a minimum of 30 days of paid sick leave per year, with the possibility of extensions based on illness severity.
  • Severance Pay: In case of termination, employees are entitled to severance pay based on their length of service.

Other Mandatory Benefits:

  • Notice Period: Both employers and employees are required to provide a minimum notice period before termination, with the notice period increasing with service tenure.
  • Overtime Pay: Employees working beyond standard working hours are entitled to overtime pay, typically at a premium rate.

Optional benefits

Many employers in Croatia go beyond the legal requirements to attract and retain top talent by offering optional employee benefits.

Enhancing Financial Security

  • Supplementary Pension Contributions: Some employers contribute towards their employees' private pension plans in addition to mandatory social security contributions. This can significantly improve an employee's retirement income.
  • Life Insurance: Employers might offer group life insurance plans to provide financial security for employees' families in case of death.

Promoting Work-Life Balance

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible work schedules, remote work options, or compressed workweeks can enhance employee well-being and productivity.
  • Company Car or Car Allowance: Providing a company car or car allowance can be a valuable benefit, particularly for employees who commute long distances.
  • Meal Vouchers or Subsidized Meals: Offering meal vouchers or subsidized meals at the workplace can be a cost-effective way to attract and retain employees.

Investing in Employee Well-being

  • Wellness Programs: On-site fitness facilities, gym memberships, or wellness programs can contribute to a healthier and happier workforce.

Additional Perks

  • Performance-Based Bonuses: Providing annual or performance-related bonuses can incentivize employees and acknowledge their contributions.
  • Employee Discounts: Offering discounts on company products or services can be a valuable perk for employees.
  • Professional Development Opportunities: Employers might offer training programs, workshops, or tuition reimbursement to support employee growth and development.
  • Social Events and Team Building Activities: Organizing team outings, social events, or recreational activities can foster a positive work environment and strengthen team bonds.

Health insurance requirements

In Croatia, a mandatory national health insurance system provides basic healthcare coverage for all employees. This system is administered by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO) and is universally applicable to all employees, regardless of nationality. The HZZO program grants employees access to a network of public hospitals, clinics, and specialists across the country. It covers a broad range of medical services, including doctor consultations (primary and specialist), hospitalization, essential medications, and diagnostic tests.

Employee Contributions

Employees contribute a percentage of their gross salary towards HZZO health insurance. This ensures they receive healthcare benefits without a substantial financial burden.

Limitations of HZZO Coverage

While HZZO provides a solid foundation for healthcare needs, there might be limitations, such as potential wait times for specialist consultations or certain procedures, and limited coverage for specific medications or advanced treatments.

Optional Supplementary Health Insurance

For more comprehensive coverage, employees can opt for private supplementary health insurance plans offered by various insurance companies. These plans can offer benefits like reduced wait times for appointments and procedures, wider coverage for a broader range of medical services and medications, including dental and vision care, and access to private hospitals and clinics not part of the public healthcare system.

Choosing the Right Insurance

The decision between relying solely on HZZO coverage or acquiring supplementary insurance depends on individual needs and budget considerations. Consulting with a healthcare professional or insurance advisor can be beneficial to navigate the options and make informed choices.

Retirement plans

Croatia implements a multi-pillar retirement system, offering a combination of public and private plans to secure financial stability for employees after retirement.

Public Pension System (Pay-As-You-Go System)

The cornerstone of Croatia's retirement system is the mandatory, earnings-related public pension program managed by the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO). All employed individuals in Croatia are automatically enrolled in the public pension system. The public pension benefit is calculated based on an employee's average salary during their contribution period and the total number of contribution years. It typically replaces around 50% of the average base contribution wage. The standard retirement age to receive a full pension is 67 years for both men and women, with a minimum required number of contributions. Early retirement is possible, but it reduces the monthly pension amount.

Mandatory Private Pension Plan (Second Pillar)

Introduced in 2002, the mandatory private pension plan supplements the public pension system. Employees contribute a percentage of their salary towards individual savings accounts managed by private pension funds authorized by the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (FINA). These contributions are invested in the financial markets, with the potential for higher returns compared to the public pension system. Employees can access the accumulated funds in their private pension accounts upon retirement. The final retirement benefit depends on the total contributions, investment returns, and the chosen withdrawal method (lump sum or annuity).

Voluntary Pension Savings (Third Pillar)

Croatia also allows voluntary contributions to private pension plans offered by various financial institutions. These plans offer various investment options and provide employees with greater control over their retirement savings. The government may offer tax incentives for contributions to voluntary pension plans.

Choosing the Right Retirement Plan

The optimal combination of retirement plans depends on individual circumstances and desired retirement lifestyle. Factors like desired retirement age, income level, and risk tolerance all play a role in the decision-making process. Consulting with a financial advisor can be beneficial to navigate the options and make informed choices to secure a comfortable retirement.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.