Recent changes in the Labour Law: posted workers’ rights are strengthened following implementation of EU Directive
On 5 January 2021, changes in the Labour Law to implement an EU Directive on posting of workers entered into force. The aim of the Directive is to establish a balanced framework with regard to freedom to provide services and protection of posted workers, which is non-discriminatory, transparent and proportionate.
Changes apply to foreign employers who send their employees to work in Latvia, to Latvian employers who send employees to work outside Latvia, and to temporary employment agencies where an employee was sent to work.
One of the new changes is that a labour service provider (temporary employment agency) can be considered as an employer and hence subject to all the rules on posting of an employee. The labour service provider is obliged to provide employees sent to Latvia with the same conditions of work and the same conditions of the employee-employer relationship as if the same work was performed by a worker directly hired by a labour service provider.
If an employee is sent from another Member State of the EU or EEA to work in Latvia, the employer must notify the State Labour Inspectorate before sending the employee. Without a notification, the person for whose benefit work is to be performed should not allow the employee to work. Additionally, regardless of the law applicable to the employment contract and employment relations Latvian working conditions and employment regulations apply.
If an employee is sent outside Latvia, either to another EU Member State or EEA country to work there, the employer must provide them with working and employments conditions that comply with collective agreements recognized as universally binding. However, the law of the state to which the employee was sent to work regulates reimbursement of expenses related to business trips. In addition, the employer must comply with the administrative requirements of the state to which the employee is posted.
Among other changes, the employer must pay the posted employee a daily allowance of 30 per cent of the daily allowance norm specified in the law of the state where the employee is posted. The only exceptions are if the employee is provided with meals three times a day or the remuneration paid to the employee is the same as that of a comparable employee in the country to which the employee is posted to work. A daily subsistence allowance is considered as compensation for expenses.
Source: Directive (EU) 2018/957 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 June 2018; Amendments to the Labour Law entered into force on 5 January 2021; Draft Law “Amendments to the Labour Law” annotation