International Newsletter

Latvia: Amendments to the Latvian Labor Law

May 17, 2019
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Latvia

Amendments to Latvian Labor Law went into effect at the end of 2018. The changes include new provisions on the content of job advertisements, updated employee trade union protection, clarification on what justifies immediate termination of employment relations, and language requirements.

Job Advertisements

One of the main changes is a new requirement that employers include the gross salary applicable to the position or the expected hourly rate of pay in the job advertisement.

Consent of the Employee Trade Union

The Trade Union reform is aimed at providing more balanced trade union protection similar to that in other European Union (EU) member states. The amendment specifies that an employer only needs to obtain prior consent of the relevant trade union for unilateral terminations if an employee has been a trade union member for at least six months.

Moreover, there is no longer a requirement for trade union consent where the employment contract termination is due to the state of health of an employee.

Written notice by an employee of the immediate termination of an employment contract

If an employee decides to immediately terminate his or her employment based on good cause, the new legislation allows his or her employer to withhold severance pay if the employer disagrees with the employee’s specified good cause. In such cases, the employee may bring a claim to the court, which decides whether severance pay is due.

Language requirements

The new amendment specifies that an employer may not demand that its employee know a particular foreign language unless that is directly related to the employee’s job duties. The purpose of the new regulation is to prevent groundless requirements to have a good command of a language, in particular Russian, which is commonly spoken in Latvia even when not necessary for the job.

Comment

The aim of the recent Latvian Labor Law amendments is to balance the protection of employees with sensible reform that will assist employers.

Written by Toms Tidemanis of TGS Baltic and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins

© 2018 TGS Baltic and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C.