At its meeting on April 28, the Cabinet of Ministers approved amendments to the Law On Measures for the Prevention and Suppression of Threat to the State and Its Consequences Due to the Spread of Covid-19 providing easier conditions for the application of certain provisions of the Labour Law until 31 December 2020, which will allow employers to keep existing jobs and organise work in companies in a more flexible way. The amendments to the law should be approved by the Saeima.
“It is important to create all necessary safety and support measures to mitigate the consequences of Covid-19, so different solutions and support mechanisms are introduced to stimulate economic activity. Today, the government has approved amendments which will allow the employer to keep existing jobs and retain employees. The state needs to provide as broad and diverse support as possible so that entrepreneurs can keep highly qualified specialists, which will form the basis for restoring their full business in the coming months,” emphasises the Minister of Economics Jānis Vitenbergs.
The amendments to the law enable the employer meeting the criteria for participants in the In-Depth Cooperation Programme, if they have been affected by the crisis caused by Covid-19:
- to reduce the wage to be paid to the employee in accordance with the Labour Law for downtime from 100% to 70% of the wage to be paid to the employee. It is important to point out that the reduced payment for downtime is also applied in other countries, e.g. in Lithuania it is set at 40%,
- to grant the employee an annual paid leave.
At the same time, the amendments provide that it is possible to agree in the collective bargaining agreement concluded with a trade union that, in the event of a temporary decline in production due to the crisis caused by COVID-19, an employee shall have part-time working hours, while maintaining his or her wage at the amount of the minimum monthly wage and the funds for each dependent child in the amount of the state social security allowance. The employee who does not agree with part-time working hours has the right to terminate his or her employment contract without complying with the one-month period specified in the Labour Law and to receive a dismissal allowance.