Rivermate | Croatia flag


Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Croatia

Holiday leave

In Croatia, employees are guaranteed paid vacation leave, also known as annual leave, as per the Labor Act. This is provided they meet certain eligibility requirements.


Employees are entitled to a minimum of four weeks (20 working days) of paid annual leave for each calendar year, as stated in Article 60 of the Labor Act.


Vacation leave is not available in full at the start of employment, but rather accrues over time.


The timing of annual leave is to be mutually agreed upon by the employer and the employee, as per Article 61 of the Labor Act. This agreement should consider both the needs of the company and the preferences of the worker.


During their annual leave period, employees are entitled to receive their regular wages.

Unused Leave

If any accrued annual leave remains unused, the employer is obligated to allow the employee to use it by June 30th of the following calendar year, according to Article 65 of the Labor Act.

Collective Agreements

Collective bargaining agreements may offer more generous vacation leave entitlements than the minimum requirements outlined in the Labor Act.

Record Keeping

Employers are required to maintain accurate records of employees' vacation leave accrual and usage.

Public holidays

Croatia celebrates a variety of secular, religious (primarily Catholic), and historical holidays throughout the year.

Secular Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day marks the start of the Gregorian calendar year.
  • Labor Day (May 1st): This day is dedicated to honoring the contributions of workers to society.
  • Statehood Day (May 30th): This day commemorates the establishment of the modern Croatian state in 1990.
  • Anti-Fascist Struggle Day (June 22nd): This day is a remembrance of the resistance against fascism during World War II.
  • Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Victory Day (August 5th): These holidays celebrate Croatia's victory in the Homeland War (Croatian War of Independence).
  • Independence Day (October 8th): This day commemorates Croatia's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Religious Holidays (Primarily Catholic)

  • Epiphany (January 6th): This holiday celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.
  • Easter Monday: This is the day following Easter Sunday, celebrated by Christians.
  • Corpus Christi: This day honors the Holy Eucharist and is observed on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday.
  • Assumption Day (August 15th): This day commemorates the Virgin Mary's bodily assumption into heaven.
  • All Saints' Day (November 1st): This day honors saints and martyrs within the Christian faith.
  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • St. Stephen's Day (December 26th): Also known as Boxing Day, this day is celebrated the day after Christmas.

Types of leave

In Croatia, the primary law governing leave entitlements for employees is the Croatian Labor Act.

Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to a minimum of four weeks (20 working days) of paid annual leave per calendar year. Leave accrues over time and cannot be taken all at once at the beginning of an employment period. Employers and employees should mutually agree upon vacation timing, considering the company's operational needs and the employee's preference for rest. The employer must allow the employee to use any unused accrued annual leave by June 30th of the following calendar year.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to paid sick leave for up to 42 calendar days upon presentation of a valid medical certificate. The Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZOO) partially or fully covers compensation for salary during this period. Generally, a medical certificate is required to substantiate sick leave.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to a total of 48 weeks of maternity leave. This includes a minimum of 28 days before and 70 days after childbirth, and the remainder of the 48 weeks can be used by the mother, father, or shared. Eligible women generally receive maternity benefits through the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZOO).

Other Types of Leave

Employees may be granted a short paid leave period, generally up to 7 working days, in the event of the death of a close family member. In some circumstances, employees may negotiate unpaid leave with their employers, though this right isn't explicitly defined in the Labor Act. Employees enrolled in certain qualified educational programs may be eligible for educational leave, depending on the nature of their employment contract or collective agreement.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

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