ZAGREB, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Croatian Tourism Association welcomed on Tuesday a new regulation that would enable retirees to work part-time, saying it could help the tourism industry prepare better for the upcoming season.
New amendments to the Pension Insurance Act entered into force on Jan. 1, allowing retirees to receive pension and work part-time at the same time. Employers in the tourism industry said that many jobs in the sector could be filled by seniors who want to keep working after retirement.
"Retirees who want and can work have a great value because they can adapt very quickly due to their work and life experience, and they can also be a source of knowledge for younger employees," Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association, said in a statement.
Croatia is suffering a labor shortage, especially in seaside tourist resorts. The government decided to increase the quota for foreign work permits to 65,100 this year, mostly in the construction and tourism sectors. This means 20,331 more permits than in 2018. Tourism generates nearly one-fifth of Croatia's GDP and over 10 percent of the population are employed in this sector.
Only seven percent of retirees in Croatia continue to work after retirement, which is below the average across the European Union, where around 16 percent of pensioners still work.
One of the biggest retailers in the country, Spar, has recently announced the first vacancies for retirees. The company offers a half-time contract to cashier-sellers, coupled with paid transportation and the opportunity to choose the location of work.