On Thursday, 16 June, the Saeima adopted amendments to several laws aimed at restricting employment of illegal immigrants.
Amendments to the Labour Law envisage prohibition to employ individuals who have no right to reside in the territory of the Republic of Latvia. From now on, before employing a foreign individual, employer will be obliged to request this individual to present a visa or residence permit, as well as a work permit. Employers will have to file copies of these documents and present them upon request of inspection agencies. In order to make employment of illegal immigrants less attractive, the Law will envisage that employers will be obliged to pay the entire amount of salary due to an individual who has been employed but who has no right to reside in Latvia.
Amendments to the Administrative Violations Code and Criminal Law envisage liability for breaching regulations concerning employment of foreigners.
For natural persons who employ illegal immigrants, the administrative liability is a fine in the amount from LVL 150 to 350, but for legal entities – from LVL 750 to 3000.
Criminal liability for employers will arise in cases of employing an underage illegal immigrant, if the employer is employing more than five individuals, if individuals are employed on terms which are highly exploitative, or if the employer knowingly employs a victim of human trafficking. Arrest, community service or a fine up to the amount of 200 minimum monthly salaries can be imposed on the employer for the above-mentioned violations.
Sixty-nine cases of employment of illegal immigrants have been identified in Latvia in 2008 and 19 cases in 2009.
Saeima Press Service