Country Information

Croatia is in southeastern Europe. It was incorporated into Yugoslavia in 1918, declared its independence in 1991 and became a member of the European Union in 2013. The Croatian economy suffered during the Croatian War of Independence, which ended in 1995, but the end of the war allowed it to begin to recover, and in the 21st century Croatians have enjoyed decent economic growth and a quality of life that’s on par with the most developed European countries. The country has made good progress towards joining the eurozone and expects to adopt the euro in the mid-2020s. Tourism accounts is a major industry in Croatia, with people from around the world coming to enjoy the its famous beaches and see the cities of Dubrovnik and Split. Both cities have recently reached a new level of fame thanks to Game of Thrones fans, who know them as the filming locations for the fictional city of King’s Landing. Other significant Croatian industries are wood processing, furniture production, fishing and winemaking. (Wines from the country’s many vineyards are enjoyed by Croatians, tourists and connoisseurs around the world). Beginning in 2021, a large new liquified national gas terminal on the island of Krk will become a distribution point for natural gas.

Employment Contracts

The most common contracts are indefinite contracts where the duration of the work is not established and definite contracts where the length of the employment is specified. An employment contract must be written and contain the employment agreement, name and address of both parties, the workplace location, the responsibilities, work hours, probation period, start date, annual leave, other leaves and salary. If the employer fails to conclude an employment contract in writing, then the law assumes it is a permanent contract.

Working Hours

The standard work week is 40 hours across 5 days. Overtime is capped at 10 hours a week. Employers must obtain written permission from employees to increase their work scope.Overtime is capped annually at 180 hours, unless it is specified in a contract.

Sick Leave

Employees receive up to 42 days of sick leave annually at 70% of their standard salary. After this period, the time off is paid by the employer and reimbursed by Croatia’s health insurance fund.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 98 days of fully paid maternity leave with 28 days before the birth. The leave can be transferred to the partner and used until the child is six months old. Parental leave is four months per parent, and they can use this for a child aged six months to eight years old. They can take 15 months each of parental leave if they have twins or three or more children. Parental leave is fully paid up to HRK 3,991.20 (Croatian kuna) a month for six to eight months of the leave and the remainder is paid at HRK 2,380.20.After using this leave, employees can reduce their hours by 50% to care for a child until they turn three years old. For children with several developmental disabilities, the parents can use this leave until the child turns eight years old. Employees receive six months of fully adoption leave for children up to the age of 18 and they receive an additional six months for an adopted child who’s younger than eight years old. Adoption leave can be extended by 60 days in some situations.


Croatia has a minimum wage. Bonuses are common.

Vacation Leave

Employees receive between 15 to 20 days of paid annual leave.

Public Holidays
  • New Year’s Day
  • Epiphany
  • Easter
  • Easter Monday
  • Labor Day
  • Statehood Day
  • Corpus Christi
  • Anti-Fascist Struggle Day
  • Independence Day
  • Victory Day and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Croatian Veterans Day
  • Assumption Day
  • All Saints’ Day
  • Christmas Day
  • St. Stephen’s Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Croatia has universal health insurance and some employers provide supplemental insurance.

Employment / Termination / Severance

The probation period is six months. The notice period is two weeks for less than a year of service, one month for a year of service, six weeks for two years of service, eight weeks for five years of service, 10 weeks for 10 years of service and 12 weeks for 20 years of service. Severance pay is 33% of the monthly salary for each year of service, after two years of service, and is capped at six months of the employee’s salary. When terminating an employee, the employer must provide a written reason and inform the Employee’s Council. This Council will then give the employee the opportunity to defend themselves before a decision is made. If the employee sits on the Council, is a candidate for the Council, is aged 60 or more, or works fewer hours due to a workplace-injury, then the union must consent to the dismissal. Employers cannot terminate employees who are in maternity, paternity or childcare leave, or those who are having medical treatment or recovering from a workplace injury. Employees can be terminated by providing the usual notice period and providing written reasons. For misconduct, employees can be terminated without any notice.

Local Laws & Regulations

We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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