Social security

Health insurance, unemployment and pensions

Social security

Social security in Croatia is divided into three main branches: pension, health, and unemployment insurance. It is funded by employees, self-employed persons, employers, and the state.

In 2010, employees and self-employed contributed 15% of their earnings to general health insurance, 0.5% to work-related accident insurance and 1.7% to unemployment insurance. Contributions only have to be paid on income above 2,400 Kuna per month and are capped at an income level of 41,850 Kuna.

Public health insurance

Foreign citizens may procure a health insurance policy from the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO ) in the following way:

  • Upon arrival in Croatia you need to register at a police station, where you receive a registration number;
  • The HZZO office will then register you on temporary evidence and issue a confirmation, which entitles you to medical insurance after the residence regulation;
  • With the temporary confirmation from the HZZO, you need to return to the police station, where your temporary residence will be approved and a permit issued;
  • After bringing a copy of the residence confirmation to the HZZO, you will be fully insured.

Necessary Documents

  • A copy of the first page of the passport
  • A copy of the passport page with visa
  • A copy of the residence confirmation

Foreigners on temporary stay who are not registered with public health insurance have to acquire private health care for themselves and the members of their families.

Unemployment benefits

All Croatian employees are entitled to unemployment benefits if they are between 15 and 65, with at least 9 months of employment in the past 24 months. They must register with the Employment Institute within the first 30 days of being unemployed.

Depending on the duration of the employment, the benefit is to be paid for 90 to 450 days, with an additional lump sum of 2, 4, or 6 monthly unemployment benefits. Older employees are exempt for the rule if they have spent 32 years working and have less than 5 years left until they are suitable for old-age pension. They are entitled to unemployment benefit until they gain new employment or retire.

Benefits are denied to any person whose employment was brought to an end voluntarily or due to misconduct.

Benefits depend on the worker's average wage received over the previous three months before the contract was terminated and range from 976 Kuna to 1200 Kuna.

Maternity benefits

Mandatory parental leave for mothers begins 28 days before the expected date of childbirth and continues at least up to 42 days after childbirth. After the 42nd day the father can opt to take parental leave in place of the mother.

The leave period is mandatory until the child is 6 months old and may be extended until the child is 1 year old. This rule applies to the first and second child. It is extended to 30 months for twins, for a third child and any subsequent children. The monthly benefit is equal to 100% of the worker's earnings with a minimum of 1,663 Kuna a month.

International agreements with other countries

If you contribute to the social security pension in any of the following countries, you will be exempt from making further contributions to Croatia:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada (including Quebec)
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Serbia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • UK

The latest country to sign the agreement on the 12th of June 2006, has been Turkey. Negotiations are underway for agreements with Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and Romania.

Further reading

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