How to hire and pay employees in Croatia

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Before hiring


Before hiring employees in Croatia, there are a few important things you’ll need to know. Firstly, it’s a legal obligation in Croatia to include details of any sick or vacation leave on a payslip. It’s important for employers to know that all time off must be recorded and approved.

As an employer in Croatia, there are also various tax free allowances available to be paid entirely at the employer's discretion. Employers should know what these are and how much is typically paid out for each.

We know this might sound overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. A solution like Oyster eliminates the barriers for you. With Oyster, you can automate compliance across 180+ countries, easily managing HR and payroll—all in one, easy-to-use platform. 

Get an overview of what you need to know when hiring in Croatia below.

At a glance









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of gross salary

13th / 14th SALARY


Good to know

  • Under Croatian law, an Employer of Record can engage workers in an indefinite employment contract, but they can only be assigned to you for a maximum of three years, after which the employee must take a break of at least two months before they can be registered to work for you again. However, for IT-related roles, Oyster can engage talent in an indefinite employment contract without any timeline limitations.
  • Employees must be registered for mandatory health insurance with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO). This entitles them to sick pay or income replacement benefit, and sick leave as needed.
  • There are various tax free allowances available to be paid entirely at the employer's discretion. These include a 5,000 kuna bonus allowance, 3,000 Easter/Christmas Bonus and a 5,000 kuna tax free food allowance.

Labor laws in


Working hours and overtime

In Croatia, full-time employment cannot be more than 40 hours per week. An employee can work up to 48 hours in a week, but eight of these will be overtime.

Employees are entitled to a minimum of 12 hours break between two consecutive work days and at least 24 consecutive hours once a week

It is a legal obligation in Croatia to include details of any leave on a payslip, so all time off must be recorded and approved.

Employment contracts

Probationary period

A probationary period in Croatia cannot exceed six months. During the agreed probationary period, the termination period must be at least seven days.


Non-compete agreements

Non-compete clauses can be included in the employment agreement provided it has been mutually agreed, and the employee is earning above the national average wage in Croatia. A non-compete cannot last more than two years and will only be valid if it aims to protect legitimate business interests and does not disproportionately limit the ex-employee's work opportunities elsewhere.

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Benefits and leave in


Vacation time

Employees in Croatia are entitled to at least four weeks of annual vacation. 

Paid leave is available for important personal reasons such as marriage, childbirth, serious illness or death in the immediate family. Employers can also grant unpaid leave if requested.

Sick leave

Employees must be registered for mandatory health insurance with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO). This entitles them to sick pay or income replacement benefit, and sick leave as needed.

To be eligible for sickness income replacement benefit, employees in Croatia must have had nine consecutive months of pensionable service, or at least 12 months in the last two years if they’ve had interruptions in their career. Without this, they’re only entitled to minimum sick pay.

Employers will pay sick pay for the first 42 days of sick leave, or seven days for an employee with a disability.

Sick payment can’t be less than 70% of an employee’s average wage in the six months before the sick leave.

After this period, the employer reclaims the sick leave they pay from the HZZO and the amount must be within 831.50 HRZ and 4,257.28. After 18 months, the amount may be reduced to half.

Parental leave

Mandatory maternity leave consists of 28 days before the expected birth date, but can be taken up to 45 days before in case of complications, and lasts up to 70 days after the birth.

Additional maternity leave lasts up to six months, but mothers can transfer part or all of it over to the father if she decides to go back to work.

A parent is entitled to take more parental leave when their child or children are between the ages of six months and eight years of age.


View a list of recognized public holidays in Croatia here.

Employer tax

In Croatia, an employer’s social contributions total 16.5%. Health Insurance is paid at 16.5% of an employee’s gross salary, and is not capped. 

Individual tax

Employees in Croatia pay between 24% and 36% in taxes depending on their income bracket. 

Employees also pay social security contributions of 20%. These are pension contributions (15% goes to Pillar I and 5% goes to Pillar II) Both contributions are capped at 52,452 HRK monthly.

In Croatia, employees also pay a municipality surtax of up to 18%.

Termination in


All terminations must be notified to the employee in writing and there can be regular or exceptional terminations. The types of terminations are as follows:

Regular termination (with agreed notice):

  1. Notice for business reasons: This can include redundancy of an employee’s role due to economic, technical, or organisational reasons. The employer must first check that they cannot engage the employee in another role and is not allowed to hire someone in the same role for at least six months.
  1. Notice for personal reasons: This means the employee is unable to fulfil their contractual duties due to a permanent characteristic or capabilities. Again, the employer must check that they can't engage the employee in another suitable role first.
  1. Notice for employee's misconduct: This refers to breach of contract. The employee should get a written warning with the possibility of termination in case of continuing breach of contract—unless circumstances mean it is reasonable not to give this warning. 
  1. Notice due to failing probationary period: This type of termination means that an employee does not perform to expectation during the probationary period. 

Exceptional terminations can be executed with only 15 days' notice from learning about an issue where there is a serious breach in employment relationship or other highly important fact.

Notice period

In Croatia, the notice period is defined by law and varies depending on the length of continuous employment, and potentially with age. It goes as follows:

  • Two weeks for more than one year employment
  • One a half months months for more than two years employment
  • Two months for more than five years employment
  • Two and a half months for more than 10 years employment
  • Three months for more than 20 years employment

Start hiring employees in


Setting up a business entity everywhere you want to hire a new employee isn’t scalable—it takes too long and the legal fees are high. At the same time, understanding and adhering to the local labor laws and employee expectations can be complex and time consuming. And it’s hard to find reliable information on up-to-date employment information for all the countries where you’re considering hiring. Not to mention tracking down invoices and managing employee contracts over email and spreadsheets—that gets messy fast. 

We can’t afford to take risks when it comes to compliance—we need to make sure we follow the local guidelines, especially when it comes to taxes and legalities. 

With Oyster, you can manage HR and payroll, and automate compliance across 180+ countries—all in one, easy-to-use platform.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this resource is for general educational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice. While Oyster strives to provide current and accurate information, Oyster makes no warranties or representations as to the correctness of the content provided and accepts no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content provided. By using this resource you acknowledge and agree that you do so at your own risk. The content of this resource is subject to change without notice.

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