Croatian hotel, restaurant and café owners have made a desperate plea to the government to issue a further 5,000 more visas to foreign workers to cover over the holes in staffing. The organization of restaurant and café owners seriously believe that the shortfall in the labour market could led to a negative effect in the ongoing tourist season.
Croatia has been blighted in recent years with young, professional people moving to other European Union members in search of better salaries, this has left huge holes in the job market and especially during the summer when thousands of Croatians from the north and west emigrate to the coastline for seasonal employment. But with more and more potential workers leaving Croatia companies have had to look further afield and into neighbouring countries.
This year alone thousands of forgiven workers have flooded into Croatia to work, mainly in the hospitality industry. A further 5,000 people are required to work this summer, states the owners of hospitality objects. They confirm that the problem has been brought on a consequence of the emigration of working-age Croatians. This very same problem has been negatively affecting younger European Union members for years.
Now the Croatian Employers' Association and the Croatian Tourism Association have asked the government to urgently adopt a decision to raise the quota for foreign workers, saying the tourist season is at risk due to a labour shortage. In a joint statement, they said the opening of some restaurants and bars before the peak tourist season was at stake. "There are no local employees and the quotas for foreign workers have been filled, which requires an urgent response by the Labour Ministry and the government."
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in response that the government was willing to consider an additional increase in the number of work permits for foreigners, however only when all possibilities for hiring local workers were exhausted. In late December 2018, the government decided that 65,100 permits could be issued to foreign workers in 2019.