Recent legislative amendments in Lithuania ease recruitment of foreign workers and offer incentives for both employees and employers.
At the end of June 2022, the Lithuanian parliament passed amendments to the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens and the Law on Employment. The amendments aim to facilitate and encourage recruitment in Lithuania of foreigners with high professional qualifications, thus addressing the problem of talent shortages in Lithuania’s workforce.
Under the new rules, high professional qualifications will be proven not only by a higher education diploma or equivalent professional experience of at least 5 years, but also by professional experience of at least 3 years in the field of information and communication technology services acquired in the last 7 years, equivalent to a higher education diploma.
The amendments reduce the obligation to employ a highly qualified foreigner from one year to 6 months. This makes it easier for foreign workers to change jobs.
The amendments also introduce lower financial obligations when recruiting highly skilled workers: employers will no longer have to pay workers who meet legal requirements a salary of at least 3 times, or in individual cases, 1.5 times the average monthly salary of employees in the last quarter of the previous year, and no less than 1.5 times the average monthly gross wage of the calendar year. Employees on a list approved by the Minister for Economic Affairs and Innovation will be paid a salary of at least 1.2 times the monthly gross wage.
These changes to the law are expected to attract highly skilled mid-level workers, while allowing employers to be more flexible in setting wages in response to labour market needs.
To obtain a temporary residence permit in Lithuania in line with the requirements of the EU Blue card, the amendments also abolish the additional requirement for individual groups of employees to apply to the Employment Service for confirmation that their position is in high demand in the Lithuanian labour market. Applications for temporary residence permits will continue to be considered by the Migration Department.
To boost attraction of highly qualified foreigners, the amendments also suggest financial incentives for both employees and employers of lump-sum payments up to EUR 5 300.
The amendments are expected to increase Lithuania’s competitiveness in the international labour market and help attract highly qualified talent to Lithuania.
This article is written in cooperation with our Intern Kasparas Adomaitis
Republic of Lithuania: Law on amending the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens No IX-2206
Consolidated version of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Employment No. XII-2470 (effective from 1 July 2022)