Twenty + employees? From now on a Works Council is a must.

When the average number of employees is 20 or more, the Lithuanian Labour Code sets a duty to form a Works Council.This statutory rule does not apply when a trade union operates at the level of the employer and at least one-third of all employees belong to the union.

The employer must initiate formation of a Works Council. The first election of a Works Council is arranged by the Works Council Election Committee. The Election Committee must be appointed by order of the employer and must be composed of three to seven members, all employees only. The number of administrative officers (i.e. employees participating in the management of the employer) may not exceed one-third of the Election Committee. Employers must form their Works Council Election Committee by 1 January 2018.

All subsequent elections to the Works Council are organized by the Works Council itself.

A Works Council is appointed for a three-year term. Depending on the number of employees, a Works Council consists of from three to eleven members. Candidates to be members must be at least 18 years old and must have been employed in the company for at least six months. Employees authorized to represent the employer as well as to adopt decisions on behalf of the employer may not be elected to the Works Council. The number of candidates must exceed the number of members elected, otherwise election procedures will be declared invalid and repeat voting must be initiated after at least six months.

Voting rights are assigned to all employees working at least three months with the employer. Election of Works Council members is by secret ballot. The election procedure is accomplished if at least half of all employees with voting rights take part in voting. If the number of employees voting is less than half, a repeat vote must be arranged within the next seven following days. It is sufficient and voting results will considered valid if at least one-quarter of employees with voting rights take part in the repeat vote.

It is also important for an employer to be able to show in future that it fulfilled its duties to initiate election of a Works Council even if a Works Council was not elected / formed. Therefore, we recommend that employers should properly document compliance with the statutory procedure with regard to formation of a Works Council. According to the Labour Code, different documentation duties exist in this regard, such as the procedure for election of particular employees as members of the Election Committee, Election Committee meetings, Works Council election procedures arranged by the Committee, and the like.

Source: 19 September 2016 Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania. No. XII-2603

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