In the dynamic landscape of vocational education, ensuring that pupils receive valuable practical experience has become a focal point. Through carefully designed regulations and guidelines, educators and employers collaborate to provide pupils with not only theoretical knowledge but also hands-on skills. One of the integral aspects of this collaboration is the provision of practical training awards to pupils, a topic governed by specific regulations and guidelines. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of these awards, exploring their significance, stipulations, and the regulatory framework that governs them.
Central to the successful implementation of practical training awards are two key regulations: the “Regulation on the Organization and Implementation of Teaching in Vocational Schools” and the “Regulation on Minimum Conditions for Apprenticeship Contracts.” These regulations lay the framework for organizing practical training and apprenticeships, outlining the criteria for practical training execution in vocational schools and the minimum conditions for apprenticeships with artisans and legal entities. Notably, these regulations also mandate the payment of a minimum reward to pupils during their practical training periods, with tax regulations dictating the tax-free amount that can be disbursed.
The practical component of the curriculum is an essential bridge between classroom learning and real-world application. Pupils gain hands-on experience by completing this segment of their education within corporate environments, following implementation plans and agreements established between the educational institution and the employer. The contract itself encompasses various elements, including the minimum award the pupils will receive based on the time spent working on practical curriculum activities with the employer.
The minimum awards are meticulously structured, with varying percentages based on the pupil’s year of study:
For the year 2022, the average net wage in Croatia’s economy was 1,015.73 euros (7,653.00 HRK). Consequently, the minimum awards translate to:
While these figures form the foundation, employers have the flexibility to offer rewards beyond the stipulated minimums, enhancing the motivation and engagement of their pupils and trainees.
An intriguing facet of these awards is their tax implications. Within the legal framework, awards granted to pupils during practical training, apprenticeships, and dual education programs are considered non-taxable income up to a specified threshold. The monthly non-taxable amount, as determined by the “Income Tax Regulation,” is capped at 232.27 euros (1,750.00 HRK).
If awards are disbursed over multiple months within a single or previous tax period, the non-taxable amounts are cumulative, spanning the respective months in which the awards were intended.
It’s important to note that any awards exceeding the predefined non-taxable amount are classified as additional income. Consequently, a tax rate of 20% and the prescribed surcharge are applied to the amount exceeding 232.27 euros. The “Contributions Act” also enforces exemption from contribution payments on these awards, irrespective of the disbursed amount.
As a key requirement, employers must ensure that rewards are disbursed in line with legal obligations. Payments within the non-taxable threshold can be issued in cash, while amounts surpassing the threshold must be transferred to the pupil’s bank account.
Moreover, employers are mandated to submit the JOPPD form, indicating the non-taxable rewards disbursed to pupils under code 13. This form is due on the day of payment or at the latest by the 15th day of the subsequent month.
Practical training awards stand as a testament to the commitment of educational institutions and employers in fostering the growth of budding professionals. By adhering to the regulatory framework, employers not only contribute to pupils’ financial well-being but also inspire them to excel and innovate in their respective fields. This collaboration between academia and industry not only enriches the learning experience but also nurtures a future workforce that is equipped to tackle challenges with skill, passion, and determination.