On Monday, 21 December, the Saeima adopted in the final reading urgent amendments to the Labour Law to ensure more effective protection of posted employees’ rights in accordance with the European Union (EU) law.
According to the explanatory note to the amendments, the regulatory framework mainly concerns foreign businesses that post their employees to perform work in Latvia, which affects the competition and state of Latvia’s job market.
The amendments transpose the European Parliament and Council directives that provide for a balanced, transparent, and fair regulatory framework regarding the freedom to provide services and the protection of posted employees.
The amendments to the Labour Law add a new provision concerning temporary employment agencies. From now on, the Law stipulates that observing the laws regarding employee posting is the responsibility of the staffing provider. According to the explanatory note, the Law now provides that the employer, namely, the staffing provider, must bear responsibility for the employee, their terms of employment, as well as working conditions.
In addition, the staffing provider must ensure equivalent terms of employment and working conditions to those that would apply if the posted employee were employed directly by the respective employer in the same position.
Moreover, the amendments define the basic principles of remuneration in the case of posting. The mandatory elements of remuneration are to be defined according to the law or practice of the country to whose territory the employee is sent to perform work.
According to the amendments, if an employer based in a country that is a member of the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) posts an employee to Latvia, both the Latvian laws and universally applicable collective agreements are applicable.
Since the posting of an employee is essentially a work trip, an employer based in Latvia sending employees to perform work in another country in the EU or the EEA must cover the costs associated with work‑related travel, including a daily allowance, as set out in the law.
The Labour Law also includes a provision that the employer has the obligation to pay a daily work trip allowance to the posted employee in the amount of 30 percent of the basic daily allowance, as defined in the relevant laws. The employer is released from this obligation in cases when the posted employee receives three meals per day or the amount of daily allowance is the same as in the country where the employee has been sent to perform work.
The explanatory note underlines that about two million employees are posted in the EU each year, constituting approximately 0.9 percent of the total workforce in the EU.
Saeima Press Service