- Published: 12.12.2019.
Gov't puts forward bill increasing parental leave allowance
As of April 1, the maximum pay during parental leave (after the first six months of the child's life) will be raised to HRK 5,654 (€761) from HRK 3,991, which is the current amount, the government has proposed in a bill on maternity and parental allowances.
Under the bill, as of April 1, 2020 the maximum allowance paid for the duration of parental leave to employed and self-employed parents would be raised from the current amount of HRK 3,991 (€537) to HRK 5,654.
The amount would be received for six months if the right is used by one parent, plus an additional two months (a total of eight months) if the right is used by both parents.
This is the second increase in those allowances in the last three years of the government's term and the government's decision is expected to cover 60% of employed mothers and fathers.
"This is a step towards complete delimitation, but at present we have to keep in line with the policy of responsible public finance management," said Demography, Family Affairs, Youth and Social Policy Minister Vesna Bedekovic.
Maternity allowance (paid in the first six months of the child's life) would continue to be paid as part of the mother or father's salary and would not be capped.
The applicant's previous duration of service, which is a precondition for being granted maternity or parental allowance, is reduced from 12 to 9 months of uninterrupted service or 12 months of on-and- off service instead of the current 18 months of on-and-off service.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said this was an important demographic measure.
The pay during parental leave has been more than doubled, from HRK 2,663, the amount of parental leave at the beginning of the government's term, to HRK 5,654, which means that those who have a salary of up to HRK 5,654 will practically have the same salary for the other six months of their parental leave, Plenkovic said.
It is estimated that the bill will cost an additional HRK 160.65 million in 2020, an additional HRK 214.19 million in 2021 and as much in 2022.
Government for improvement of patent protection
The government on Wednesday forwarded a bill on patent protection to receive a second reading in parliament, with the legislation introducing a simpler registration process for patent protection.
The bill envisages a preliminary opinion on patentability of inventions and provides legal prerequisites for establishing cooperation between the European Patent Office and Croatia's State Intellectual Property Office.
The government also endorsed a document on guidelines for state grants from 2020 to 2022 concerning subsidies for the industry and services sector.
The document underlines, as the most desirable, horizontal grants aligned with EU practice for research and development, innovations, environmental protection and training as well as for employment and investments.
Gov't says will get two Black Hawk choppers from the US, buy another two
At its session on Wednesday the government gave a green light to the Defence Ministry to procure four UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Croatian Armed Forces - two helicopters will be donated and two will be purchased, of a total value of HRK 1.167 billion.
The aircraft will be procured in the period from 2021 to 2026 in partnership with the US government.
The United States will donate two Black Hawk helicopters with spare parts and equipment and Croatia will purchase another two identical helicopters from the United States. The partnership includes pilot and ground crew training as well as logistic support.
The US donation amounts to HRK 360.64 million and the value of the entire project is HRK 1.167 billion.
The remaining HRK 804.23 million will be secured from the state budget in the period between 2021 and 2026.
Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic said the procurement of the helicopters was unanimously supported by the relevant parliamentary committee.