July 07, 2024

Annual leave for public service employees

The general rules on annual leave for public service employees are contained in the Labour Act and the Basic Collective Agreement for Public Service Employees. Special rules on annual leave for employees of public services may be contained in branch collective agreements, employment contracts and internal acts of the employer (e.g. Labour Regulations, etc.). In this text, we will elaborate on the rules of annual leave in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Collective Agreement for Employees in Public Services, which is in force from March 1, 2024.

General rules on annual leave

For each calendar year, an employee is entitled to paid annual leave in the shortest duration prescribed by the general labor regulation, i.e. 4 weeks under the Labor Act.

The minimum duration of annual leave is increased according to individually determined criteria, which are regulated by the branch collective agreement.

Employees who work in 12-hour shifts will use their annual leave as if they were working in a five-day working week for eight hours a day.

The total duration of annual leave may not be less than the minimum duration of such leave determined by the Labour Act, nor more than 6 weeks or 30 working days for work in a five-day working week.

During the use of annual leave, the employee is paid salary compensation in the amount of his/her average monthly salary earned in the three months preceding the month in which he/she takes annual leave (including all income in cash and in kind that represents remuneration for work) or in the amount as if he/she had worked during regular working hours, whichever is more favourable for the employee.

Salaries earned in the previous three months are considered to be salaries earned for work in the three months preceding the month of annual leave.

If in the previous three months the employee has exercised the right to salary compensation for part of the period or for the entire period, then during that time the employee is calculated salary compensation in the amount as if he had worked during regular working hours and as such is included in the average salary.

Salary compensation is understood as salary compensation paid during sick leave, i.e. salary compensation whose amount is less than the amount of salary compensation that the employee would have earned if he had worked during regular working hours.

A blind employee and an employee who works in jobs where it is not possible to protect the employee from harmful influences even with the application of occupational safety measures, is entitled to annual leave for each calendar year in the duration of at least 6 weeks. The duration of annual leave in these cases is determined by the branch collective agreement.

Days that do not count towards annual leave

When determining the duration of annual leave, weekly rest days, holidays, non-working days determined by law and days of paid leave are not taken into account.

The period of temporary incapacity for work determined by a licensed doctor is not included in the duration of annual leave.

Annual leave in parts and use of unused annual leave

An employee may use annual leave in two or more parts, in agreement with the employer.

An employee has the right to use one day of annual leave twice as desired, with the obligation to inform the employer or a person authorized by the employer at least two days in advance.

Vacation schedule

When determining the schedule (plan) for the use of annual leave, and in accordance with the needs of work organization, the employer is obliged to take into account the needs and wishes of employees, and in this sense collect their proposals and consult with the works council, i.e. the trade union commissioner with the rights and obligations of the works council.

Notice on the use of annual leave

The employer is obliged to deliver to the employee a written decision, i.e. a decision on the duration of annual leave and the period of its use, no later than 15 days before the start of the annual leave.

An employee may postpone or terminate the use of annual leave only for the purpose of performing particularly important and urgent official tasks, based on the decision of the employer.

Particularly important and urgent official tasks are considered to be tasks that cannot be performed in any way by employees who do not use annual leave, and the work is of such a nature that it cannot be postponed.

An employee whose annual leave has been postponed or interrupted must be allowed to use it later, i.e. to continue using annual leave.

An employee is entitled to reimbursement of actual costs caused by the postponement or interruption of the use of annual leave. Travel and other expenses are considered expenses.

Travel expenses are the actual transport costs incurred by the employee due to arriving at the place of employment and returning from the place of employment to the place where he used his annual leave at the time of interruption, as well as the daily allowance for returning to the place of employment, under the conditions and in the amount specified in this Agreement.

Other costs are other expenses incurred by the employee due to the postponement, i.e. interruption of annual leave, as evidenced by appropriate documentation.

In the event of an interruption of annual leave due to paid leave or a period of temporary incapacity for work, the employee is obliged to return to work on the day on which his annual leave would have ended regularly if there had been no paid leave or temporary incapacity for work. The rest of the annual leave will be used later, according to the agreement with the employer. If the paid leave or period of temporary incapacity for work ends after the annual leave is due to end, the employee should return to work at the end of the period of paid leave, i.e. the period of temporary incapacity for work.

Exception to the right to a proportionate part of annual leave

An employee who retires is entitled to full annual leave for that year. Need an employment lawyer, please contact us at: info@odvjetnik-bistrovic.hr

Want to make an appointment?