FINANCIAL COMPENSATION FOR UNEMPLOYMENT (UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT)

The realization of the right to unemployment benefit in the Republic of Croatia is regulated by the Act on Employment Mediation and Unemployment Rights (Official Gazette, number 16/2017).

In order to realise the right to unemployment benefit in the Republic of Croatia, an unemployed person:

  1. Must meet the condition regarding previous employment,
  2. The employment relationship must not be terminated due to his or her fault or will / self-employment cannot cease without any justified reasons,
  3. Must be registered with the competent local office of the Croatian Employment Service within the statutory deadline and apply for unemployment benefit.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

You acquire the right to unemployment benefit if you have at least 9 months of working relationship in the last 24 months at the time of the termination of your employment or self-employment.

In order to realise that right in the Republic of Croatia (or other Member States of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland), the time you have spent working in any of the Member States of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland will be taken into account.

For example, if you have worked in the Republic of Croatia for 4 months, and before that you have worked for 5 months in any other EU Member State, when determining the right to unemployment benefit, the time you spent working in both states will be taken into account.

Periods of work in other states (as well as other data important for the realisation of the right to unemployment benefit, e.g. the reason for employment termination, salary amounts …) are confirmed by the PD U1 form issued by the employment agency/service of the state in which work was performed. If you are unable to obtain the U1 form yourself, the Croatian Employment Service will obtain the necessary documentation from the competent institutes by official means.

In order to be able to exercise the right to an unemployment benefit, the employment relationship must not cease due to your fault or with your consent.

You cannot acquire the right to unemployment benefit if your employment relationship has ceased:

  • When you terminated the employment relationship, except in case of extraordinary termination of the employment contract caused by the employer’s conduct,
  • By mutual written agreement on the termination of employment (except if proposed by the employer, in case of collective disposal of surplus workers in accordance with the special regulation),
  • By a court settlement which established the termination of the employment relationship,
  • Because you have not successfully passed the probation or internship period or have not successfully and in a timely manner passed the state exam,
  • As a result of the infringement of obligations arising from employment (dismissal caused by inappropriate conduct on the part of the employee), as well as a serious infringement of working obligations (extraordinary dismissal) or official duties,
  • Due to imprisonment longer than three months.

You cannot acquire the right to unemployment benefit if your self-employment was terminated without any justified reasons. Justified reasons are the following:

  • Insolvency or illiquidity,
  • Conclusion of bankruptcy proceedings,
  • Business at a loss,
  • Loss of business space,
  • Loss of the privilege or the license to carry out the activities prescribed by a special regulation,
  • Illness of an insured person in case of unemployment,
  • Loss of a business partner,
  • Serious damage to property of the insured person in case of unemployment,
  • Natural disasters and catastrophes caused by force majeure,
  • Other reasons that prove to be justified.

The right to unemployment benefit shall not be acquired by an unemployed person who would be entitled to this right after the termination of employment or self-employment if the employment relationship or self-employment lasted less than three months and the previous employment relationship or self-employment ceased in any of the above-mentioned ways.

In order to exercise the right to unemployment benefit, you must register with the Croatian Employment Service within 30 days of the termination of employment or self-employment and apply for the unemployment benefit.

If you were on sick leave, i.e. maternity, parental, adoptive parents’ or caretaker’s leave after the termination of your employment or self-employment, you must apply within 30 days of the termination of one of these circumstances.

You register and submit the request at the local office of the Croatian Employment Service in your registered place of permanent or temporary residence.

The amount of your cash benefit depends on the salary you made before the termination of the employment relationship because the basis for determining the amount of unemployment benefit is the average of the gross salary earned in the quarter preceding the termination of employment or service.

Unemployment benefit for the first 90 days of use amounts to 60%, and for the remaining period amounts to 30% of the basis.

The lowest and the highest amount of unemployment benefit is prescribed.

The highest amount of unemployment benefit depends on the average salary paid in the Croatian economy in the previous year, and the unemployment benefit for the first 90 days of use cannot exceed 70%, and for the remaining time of use may not exceed 35% of this salary.

The lowest amount of unemployment benefit depends on the minimum salary in the Republic of Croatia reduced by contributions for compulsory insurance, and the unemployment benefit may not be less than 50% of this salary.

The right to unemployment benefit can be realized for a period of 90 to 450 days, depending on the total time you have spent at work.

  • 90 days if you have worked within the period from 9 months to 2 years,
  • 120 days if you have worked more than 2 years,
  • 150 days if you have worked more than 3 years,
  • 180 days if you have worked more than 4 years,
  • 210 days if you have worked more than 5 years,
  • 240 days if you have worked more than 6 years,
  • 270 days if you have worked more than 7 years,
  • 300 days if you have worked more than 8 years,
  • 330 days if you have worked more than 9 years,
  • 360 days if you have worked more than 10 years,
  • 390 days if you have worked more than 15 years,
  • 420 days if you have worked more than 20 years,
  • 450 days if you have worked more than 25 years.

There is an exception to this rule:

If you have worked for 32 years and you have 5 more years until you meet the age limit for acquiring the right to an old-age pension, you are entitled to an unemployment benefit until your re-employment or until the occurrence of any other circumstances causing the termination of the right to unemployment benefit. To determine the duration of the right to an unemployment benefit, the time you have spent working in any EU Member State, including Croatia, will be taken into account.

If you need proof of completed periods of employment or self-employment in the Republic of Croatia for the purpose of exercising your right to an unemployment benefit in another EU Member State, you can submit an application for the issuance of U1 (PD U1) transfer form in any regional/local office of the Croatian Employment Service, or by sending an e-mail to eukoordinacija@hzz.hr. In addition to a personally-signed application submitted by e-mail, a copy of your ID card or passport must be enclosed.

If you exercise the right to unemployment benefit in the Republic of Croatia and you decide to look for a job in another Member State of the European Union, you can retain your benefit for a maximum of three months if you meet the following conditions:

  • You must be registered at the Croatian Employment Service as an unemployed person for at least 4 weeks after you became unemployed,
  • You must notify the Croatian Employment Service of your departure and ask for the issuance of the U2 form,
  • You must register at the employment service of the country in which you are seeking employment within 7 days from the date you ceased to be available to the Croatian Employment Service,
  • You must actively look for a job and be available for work in that country.

If you meet the requirement regarding 4 weeks registration as an unemployed person at the Croatian Employment Service, the Croatian Employment Service will issue a U2 (PD U2) document upon your request. The U2 form proves to the employment service of the country in which you are seeking employment that the export of your unemployment benefit has been approved. The application for the issuance of the said U2 transfer document is submitted to the regional/local office of the Croatian Employment Service in which you are registered.

The Croatian Employment Service will continue to pay your unemployment benefit directly to your bank account in the amount established in the Republic of Croatia, but only if the employment service of the State in which you seek employment notifies the Croatian Employment Service, by means of official form (U013), whether you regularly sign up and meet all the requirements regarding active job search and availability.

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