New digital labor platform (DLP) regulation in Croatia

By January 4, 2024 No Comments

In an effort to modernize Croatian employment law and align it with contemporary needs, amendments to the Labour Act (Official Gazette nos. 93/2014, 127/2017, 98/2019, 151/2022, and 64/2023) governing digital labor platforms (DLPs) came into effect on January 1, 2024. Initially passed in 2022, these amendments represent one of the earliest regulations on platform work within the European Union. The new provisions, found in Title IV.a of the Labour Act, are largely aligned with the European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on improving working conditions in platform work. They define platform work as compensated work carried out by individuals under contract for a DLP or an aggregator, utilizing digital technology either remotely through electronic means (such as a web page or mobile app) or directly on-location.

Key elements of platform work in Croatia are regulated as follows:

Definition and Scope:

  • A DLP is defined as a natural or legal person providing services at the request of a service recipient through digital technology, involving remote work through electronic means or on-location.
  • An aggregator (representative) is a natural or legal person engaged in representation or intermediation for DLPs.
  • Regulations apply not only to DLPs but also to aggregators operating within the European Union, regardless of their location and applicable law. Notably, DLP regulation excludes service providers primarily focused on asset sharing or resale of goods and services.

Obligations and Protections:

  • DLPs and aggregators must meet certain obligations to safeguard employees’ rights, including registration in the Register of digital labor platforms and aggregators.
  • Work records must be maintained through the JEER information system, as defined by the Ordinance on platform work records (Official Gazette no. 150/2023).
  • Additional obligations apply when automated management systems are used, requiring employee education, human supervision, communication channels, and protection of sensitive employee data.

Contractual Requirements:

  • Employment contracts involving DLPs must include specific details related to work tasks, conditions, monitoring, electronic equipment, communication, expenses, insurance, and more.
  • Contracts requiring on-call work must outline the variable work schedule, reference period, minimum paid work hours, and conditions for the employee’s right to refuse tasks on short notice.

Legal Presumption:

  • The Labour Act introduces a legal presumption that if a DLP or aggregator contracts with an individual for work resembling an employment contract, the DLP or aggregator is considered to have concluded an employment contract as an employer.
  • The presumption can be challenged based on exhaustively listed facts, with the burden of proof lying with the DLP or aggregator rebutting the legal presumption.

This article provides a concise overview of the recent DLP regulations in Croatia. For a more in-depth examination, feel free to contact us at vukmir@vukmir.net.