European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case HR-2020-12/392 – measures in Croatia

Civil protection authority entitled to set working time in retail trade

Radno vrijeme u trgovini

Country Croatia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 19 March 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Changes of working hours or work arrangements
Author Predrag Bejalovic (IJF) and Eurofound
Case created 08 April 2020 (updated 30 April 2020)

Background information

The retail trade is one of the most competitive and most dynamic branches of the Croatian economy. Of the total number of employees in commerce (around 260,000), the majority are employed in retail (around 50%), followed by wholesale trade (40%). Around 80% of employees have an open-ended contract, while only a small minority (around 3%) work part-time. Croatian commerce tried to respond as effectively and efficiently as possible to the wishes and needs of its customers. However, in current situation, employees are particularly vulnerable to infection due to permanent contacts with the customers and many over-time working hours due to the serious shortages of the labour force.

As a mean to prevent the mingling, reduce possibilities for spreading of virus and possibilities to stipulate working hours, the Law on Amendments to the Trade Act (OG 32/20) defines following: Special circumstances "means an event or a condition which could not be predicted and could not be affected, which threatens the life and health of citizens, property of high value, significantly damages the environment, disrupts economic activity or causes significant economic damage".

Content of measure

The Act also empowered the Civil Protection Authority of the Republic of Croatia to determine working hours in trade activities in special circumstances. Indirectly related to the Act, many retail chains in Croatia increased salaries and bonuses and paid out an Easter supplement for their workers in the hope to retain current working force and attract new workers. They also accepted various security measures and equipment to protect their employees from the corona virus. They installed Plexiglas barriers at all cash registers, and have provided security visors to employees at self-service cash register.

With the intention to minimize exposure and reduce the risk of corona virus infection, the Civil Protection Authority of the Republic of Croatia determine that only shops with food and some other special stores would be opened. Working hours in trade activities are defined from 8 am until 5 pm.

Use of measure

Law has been implemented.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • N/A
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

Due to the nature of the measure, social partners were not involved.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G45 Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
      G46 Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
      G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Civil protection authority entitled to set working time in retail trade , case HR-2020-12/392 (measures in Croatia), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.