• Konsultacijų tel.: (8 5) 213 9772
  • Pranešk apie nelegalų darbą tel.: (8 5) 213 9750

 

Information in English

The employers must inform the State Labour Inspectorate (SLI) on the downtime for an employee or group of employees, when the State is in emergency situation and quarantine. The list of companies, which have declared the downtime for an employee or group of employees, is published on the SLI website.

When the employer, due to the emergency situation and quarantine in the country, is unable to provide their employee with work agreed on in the employment contract, as because of organizational peculiarities, there is no possibility to do the job agreed on in the labour contract remotely, or the employee refuses to do any other job offered to them, and therefore, the employer must declare a downtime for an employee or group of employees, within one work day at the latest, the employer must inform the SLI on the downtime declared through filling-in the questionnaire published on the SLI website.
The note on the downtime shall contain a full name of the company, entity or organization, entity code, duration of the downtime, number of employees who are in the downtime, full name, telephone number, e-mail address of the contact person of that company, entity, organization.

The note on the downtime shall be placed to the SLI just once (except for the cases when the information pertains to different durations of the downtimes for different employees (e.g., manufacturing personnel and managers). If the downtime is repeatedly declared for an employee or group of employees in the same company, such information is not required to be submitted to the SLI. The information is also not required to be submitted if the employee who is in downtime uses their leave of absence or obtains a sick leave. If the SLI needs any additional inform, it will contact the person indicated in the questionnaire. It is highly important the employer has all necessary documents regarding the downtime available (e.g., relevant internal regulations), as the SLI may inspect them at any time if necessary.

The employers who fail to inform on the downtime for an employee or group of employees, or provide with an erroneous information, shall be liable in the procedure set forth by effective legislation.

Questionnaire on the Downtime: http://tiny.lt/46vcdmp.

Not in every case during the quarantine due to coronavirus it is possible to work in a remote working mode; and therefore, in some complicated cases the employers are entitles to declare a downtime or a semi-downtime. The employer is entitled to declaring a downtime for an employee or a group of employees, if:

  • The employer cannot provide the employee with the work agreed on in the labour contract not due to the employee’s fault, or the employee refuses to start working on any other task offered to them;
  • The circumstances stated in item 2 part 1 article 47 of the Labour Code have occurred, i.e. if due to the declared emergency and quarantine situation, the employer has no opportunity to offer their employees the job they have agreed on in the labour contract provided for that they have tried any other methods, i.e. remote working or after offering them any other tasks available, then the employer is entitled to announcing a downtime.

If the downtime is set based on the reasons above, it is significant to note the key importance is not only whether an employee is able to work under a remote working mode, but rather if the employer is capable to offer working tasks for the employees at all. However, if the work function can be performed under a remote working mode, but due to the situation occurred, i.e. emergency and quarantine, the employer has no possibilities to offer their employees a job (e.g., no trip sales, which can be sold by employing a remote working mode though), the downtime can be announced base on the reasons above. Thus, it is highly important that the inability to ensure the employment is justified by the circumstances based on the quarantine and emergency situation, e.g. an obvious reduction of service provision rates, etc.
When the company declares a downtime due to the emergency situation and quarantine:

  • The employee cannot be required to attend the work;
  • During the downtime, the employer must pay to the employee a monthly salary amounting to not less than a minimal monthly wages (EUR 607 before taxes or EUR 437 after taxes), provided for that the employees working hours total to 40 h a week. If the employee has a half-time job, the wages should be proportionate, i.e. if the labour contract embeds the-20-hour working week, the wages shall amount to not less than EUR 303.5. The employer is entitled to paying more than MMW, e.g., fix an average wage of 60 percent, etc. The latter shall be included in the order regarding the announcement of the downtime;
  • A certain share of expenditure for the wages suffered by the employers due to the downtime will be compensated in the form of subsidies from the funds of the Employment Services;
  • The downtime shall be formally filed in a form of an internal legal deed, e.g. the order of the head. The order must contain the information regarding the duration of the downtime, i.e. the commencement and cessation, the affected employee or group of employees (with indication of full names and positions of affected employees), the amount of wages to be paid within the downtime. The order should also contain the deadline the employees are to be informed on the cessation of the downtime;
  • It is mandatory to make the employees familiar with the order;
  • The employer declaring the downtime shall inform the State Labour Inspectorate within 1 day in the procedure set forth by the Institution. If the downtime is declared before April 2, the SLI shall be notified within 3 work days.

The downtime for the head of a legal entity. The Labour Code does not make any specific distinction among the employees who are not entitled to the downtime. As the head of any legal entity is entered into the labour contract, they might become the subject to the downtime as well. However, a specific attention must be drawn to certain factual legal and organisational circumstances within the company’s activities. It is highly important that prior to the announcement of the downtime for the head of a legal entity, there must be the assessment of the entity’s, company’s or organisation’s functionality in terms of their internal relations (e.g., examination of their employee applications), or external relations (e.g., production and signing of agreements).  In case if there is no a responsible person able to ensure the functioning of the entity, company or organisations during the downtime, the head might be eligible to a partial downtime, or no downtime at all.
During the downtime, the employees and the head cannot perform their functions, and therefore, the activities of a legal entity under the circumstances are hardly imaginable. It cannot be carried out when the downtime is declared.
The SLI performs and will perform any inspections to detect whether the employers are not making any benefit of the situation and if they are not declaring fake downtimes.
Sick leave, holidays during the downtime. If the employee is given a sick leave (e.g., child’s nursing) or the employee is enjoying his annual holiday leave, the employer is not eligible to declaring the downtime for this employee.  Upon the cessation of the sick leave or annual holiday term, and if the employer has no possibility to offer the job, the employer is entitled to declaring the downtime.
Downtime and employment in another company. During the downtime in one company, the employee can get employed with the other company. The legal deeds do not provide for the prohibition to be employed in several companies; however, it is important to comply with the requirements of minimum rest time and maximum work time.
Partial downtime. If the employer is not able to provide the employee with the job agreed on in the labour contract due to objective reasons, but the employee is considered valuable, the employer can offer less working hours, i.e. to declare a downtime or half-downtime to an employee or group of employees for a certain period when the working hours or working days are reduced. When the number of working hours per day is reduced, it can be decreased by not more than 3 hours a day, e.g., from 8 to 5 hours. When the number of working days per weak is reduced, it can be decreased by not more than 2 working days, e.g., from 5 to 3 days.
Due to the emergency situation or quarantine, the employer is entitled to set a partial downtime to their employee, which results in reduced number of working days per week or working hours per day. In such case, the wage is paid for the working hours and certain remuneration is paid for the downtime.
Downtime and aggregate accounting. The downtime for the employees working on the basis of aggregate accounting of working hours is calculated following the work (shift) schedule, which shows how many days and hours that employee’s had to work during that specific month. For example, if a partial downtime is set (by reducing the number of days per week or hours per working day), an actual time of partial downtime can be followed in the schedule based on working hours and data in the timesheets, e.g., based on the schedule, the employee has to work 4 days 11 hours each per week; during the downtime, upon reducing the working week by 2 days, the employee has to work 2 days only that week, and the remaining 2 days 11 hours each have to be recorded as the downtime in the timesheet and paid accordingly. The similar rule should be applied if partial downtime is set by reducing the working hours per day; e.g., based on the employee’s working (shift) schedule, the duration of the employee’s work time after setting the downtime can be tracked (e.g., 11 hours 4 days per week), and upon reducing the number of working hours per week by let’s say three hours, the employee should work 4 days 9 hours each and receive the salary for  these hours, and the remaining hours set in the schedule should be reimbursed as the downtime.
A calculated rate of an employee’s working time within the reference period cannot be reduced due to the downtime or partial downtime (the downtime periods should not be set off from the working hours of the reference period, and the rate of the reference period cannot be recalculated). Thus, the rate of the working time of the employee within the reference period shall be calculated based on the employee’s working time rate and number of calendar weeks and compared with the time the employee has actually been working within the reference period (with inclusion of the downtime or partial downtime periods). At the end of the reference period (by summing up all months of the reference period), it can be tracked whether there have been any idle hours or overtime (which have to be remunerated at the end of the reference period in the procedure set forth by parts 5-6 article 115 of the Labour Code).

Upon setting a quarantine regime in Lithuania, the restrictions embedded imply that their execution in some cases and to certain employees is related to a restricted possibilities to carry out their occupational duties at a permanent place of employment;  and therefore, whenever it is practicable the employer must ensure any possibility to work in a remote working regime. Moreover, within the period, the employee shall be paid a wage embedded by the occupation contract.  

Pursuant to the Labour Code, the employer must satisfy the employee’s application to work in a remote working mode for no less than 1/5 of the entire working time, provided for it is requested by the employee who is pregnant, or the employee who has recently given a birth, or the employee who is breastfeeding, as well as employees who are raising children under the age of 3, or single parents raising children under the age of 14, or employees raising a disable child under the age of 18. In any other case, the employer may satisfy the employee’s application for the remote working mode, and even offer themselves to work in a remote working mode for their employees.  On the terms and provisions for the remote working, the Parties may agree via IT means, e.g. via e-mail.

Remote working is the most recommended type of working in extreme or quarantine situation, provided for that the remote working mode in objectively possible due to the company’s or organization’s type of activities.

During the emergency situation or quarantine, the employer is entitled to suspending an employee if that employee’s health threatens their colleagues, and the employee refuses to work remotely. 
The suspension is effective for a limited time, and the wages are not paid for that period. This is relevant, when employees come back from abroad but still continue attending their work, thus, refusing to obey to the recommended self-isolation for an incubation period. Any person returning from foreign countries must isolate themselves for 14 days.
Thus, to ensure the health of employees and third persons:

  • By sending a well-grounded letter, the employer must suggest their employee whose health threatens other employees’ health to work remotely;
  • The employee must to inform their employer on their consent to work remotely in writing within one working day;
  • In case if the employee refuses to work remotely, or fails to provide their reply to the employer’s suggestion on working remotely, not later than within one working day upon the expiry of the term for the employee’s reply to the employer’s suggestion, the employer in writing shall suspend that employee, prohibit them from accessing their working place without paying them any wages.

The employer’s offer to work remotely shall contain the reason of such offer, time limit and legal grounds.

Usually, the annual leave of an employee are granted at certain time set for annual leaves, or upon the agreement between the parties. The purpose of annual leaves is to restore the employee’s efficiency; therefore, the effective legislation binds both parties (the employee to use the right, and the employer to grant) annual leaves at least once a year. Therefore, there cannot be any cases when annual leaves are accumulated and not used for more than one year. Considering the situation incurred, based on reasons when the employee cannot be given any work-related tasks, and when the employee has accumulated annual leaves for more than one year and hasn’t expressed their will to use them, the employer is entitled to requesting from that employee to use their annual leaves accumulated for more than one year.

Due to the reduction of the volume of work, the employer is entitled to discussing part-time work opportunities with their employees. Pursuant to the Labour code, full-time work means 40 working hours per week. If the employee agrees, part-time work would be when the employer reduces working hours, working week or working month. The provision on part-time work can be set for a certain limited or unlimited period. The employee would benefit more if such agreement is set for a limited period, e.g., until the recall of quarantine by the Government. The employer shall not demand from or force the employee to enter into the agreement on part-time work against their will. The employer shall pay for the part-time work in proportion to actual working hours or work performed in comparison to full-time work executed.

An employee is entitled to refusing any travels abroad provided for that such travelling implies any threat to their safety and health, as well as to engage into such work they have not received any safety instructions for, if there are no collective safety measures introduced, or the employee has not been provided with any necessary person protection equipment.
The employer shall also be interested in ensuring safety and health for their employees. The employer’s duty to ensure such work conditions which respect their employees’ safety and health regulated the Law on Health and Safety at Work of the Republic of Lithuania.
The employers intending to second their employees abroad shall comply with the regulations restricting the travelling of the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania outside the territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

The employers who business activity has to be suspended due to the emergency situation or quarantine must be given an opportunity to lease their employees through obtaining the status of a temporary employment agency.

During an emergency situation or quarantine, the companies willing to send their employees for work to other companies, may apply to the SLI via e-mail, indicate their objective reasons why they cannot provide their employees with remote work, and thus, they are forced to limit their business activities, and ask for the status of a temporary employment agency.
The application shall contain contact details (full name, telephone No, e-mail address) of the applicant, as well as web site address (if any).

In this case, the SLI will verify the information whether the entity’s activity is not suspended or restricted, if there is no bankruptcy proceedings, or if the company is not in liquidation process, as well as if there is no resolution of the meeting of creditors to initiate out-of-court bankruptcy proceedings.

Upon assessing the criteria, within 1 work day the SLI is to adopt the decision pertaining the inclusion of the company into the list of temporary employment agencies and inform the applying company on their decision.

When the company is included into the list of temporary employment agencies, but their employees are not taken on lease by any other company, such company may still declare a downtime. Accordingly, it may terminate the downtime, when another company with higher demand for workers expresses their intention to take the employees on lease.
A simplified procedure on granting the status of a temporary employment agency shall be applicable only within the emergency situation or quarantine.

Upon the revocation of an emergency situation or quarantine, the employer who has been included into the list of temporary employment agencies in a simplified procedure shall be crossed out of that list by the SLI within 1 work day from the day the emergency situation or quarantine is revoked. 

Irrespective of the fact the State is undergoing an emergency situation and quarantine, the company willing to reduce the number of their employees must comply with the requirements embedded by the Labour Code.
When the employment contract is terminated upon a mutual agreement between the parties, the offer must be submitted in writing, it shall contain terms and provisions of the termination of the agreement (the date when labour relations cease, the amount of the compensation, the procedure of unused leave of absence, procedure on settlement of accounts, etc.). The agreement between the parties regarding termination of the employment contract on terms and provisions acceptable for both parties, or written consent by one of the parties to the agreement to terminate the employment agreement, shall terminate the employment contract on terms and provisions specified therein.
When an employee is dismissed on the initiative of the employer due to significant reasons, the employment agreement can be terminated upon notification of the employee one month in advance; if labour relations last for less than one year, - two weeks in advance. The term of notification shall be doubled for the employees who have less than five years remaining to their retirement as set by the effective legislation, trebled for the employees who have a child (adopted child) under 14 years, and for the employees who have a disabled child under 18 years, as well as for the disabled employees, and employees who have less than two years remaining to their retirement. The Labour Code embeds a duty to pay the compensation for the employee who is dismissed not due to their fault:

  • Average wage for 2 months, if the employee has been employed for more than one year;
  • Average wage of 0.5 month, if the employee has been employed for less than one year.

Moreover, the employees who have been employed for more than five years shall be entitled to the long-term employment benefit.
The Labour Code also embeds certain terms and provisions protecting some employees from their dismissal; e.g., the employment agreement cannot be terminated on the employer’s initiative not due to the employee’s fault, if that employee has a child under 3 years. The termination of the employment agreement cannot be initiated for a pregnant female employee until her baby turns four months; moreover, a pregnant female employee cannot be notified on her dismissal until her baby turns four months.

The Labour Code provides with two options when the employer is entitled to declaring a downtime: 1. The employer is not able to provide the employee with work agreed on in the employment contract based on objective reasons not due to the employee’s fault. 2. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania declares an emergency situation and quarantine, and therefore, the employee is unable to provide the employee with work agreed on in the employment contract. Item 1 Part 1 Art. 56 of the Labour Code sets forth that the employment agreement can be terminated upon the employee’s written application by notifying the employer at least five work days in advance, if the employee’s downtime not due to their fault lasts for more than thirty consecutive days, or if the downtime lasts for more than forty-five days within last twelve months. Article 5 of the Labour Code regulates principles of interpretation of labour law requirements. Part 3 of the Article embeds that when determining the actual meaning of the provision, the tasks and objectives of the Code and the provision being interpreted shall be taken into account. The attention must be drawn to the fact that the purpose of legal regulation embedded by Item 2 Part 1 Article 47 of the Labour Code is of a specific purpose. The purpose of this regulation of the Labour Code is to enable the employers to preserve working places, and for the purpose of this regulations the following tasks have been formulated: 1) the State shall subsidise working places in greater proportion; 2) with the Governmental subsidies the employers shall maintain the continuity of labour relationships. By such legal regulation of downtimes, a specific ground of the occurrence of the downtime has been embedded; moreover, it provides with a separate downtime mechanism, which is different than the one specified in Item 1 Part 1 Article 47 of the Labour Code , which is related to, if evaluated by a logic law interpretation approach, Item 1 Part 1 Article 56 of the Labour Code embedding the employee’s right to terminate the employment agreement and receive a severance grant. Upon assessing the true nature of the legal regulation embedded by Item 2 Part 1 Article 47 of the Labour Code it should be noted that the object and interest of the regulation specified by Item 1 Part 1 Article 56 of the Labour Code, protected by that legal regulation, is not pertained to the downtime declared due to the quarantine. On the contrary, the downtime to be declared as pursuant to Item 1 Part 1 Article 47 of the Labour Code should be interpreted as the grounds to terminate the employment agreement on the basis of Item 1 Part 1 Article 56 of the Labour Code. Considering the latter, in the opinion of the State Labour Inspectorate and Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the employees who are in the downtime on the basis of Item 2 Part 1 Article 47 of the Labour Code shall not be entitled to the using of their right embedded by Item 1 Part 1 Article 56 of the Labour Code, and receiving a severance grant as stated by Part 2 Article 56 of the Labour Code.

Every employee must be given such work conditions, which respect their safety and health. A working place and surroundings of every employee must be safe and unhazardous to their health, equipped in compliance with the requirements embedded by safety and health regulations, and the work process shall be arranged in compliance with the regulations set forth by the effective legislation on safety and health.

An employee is entitled to refusing any work provided for that such work implies any threat to their safety and health, as well as to engage into such work they have not received any safety instructions for, if there are no collective safety measures introduced, or the employee has not been provided with any necessary person protection equipment (e.g., no disinfectants, protective masks, extra disinfection of premises, etc.).

In case if the safety and health is endangered, the employee shall be entitled to discontinuing their work process and immediately informing their head and person representing their employer in writing on the reasons to discontinue the work. A well-grounded refusal to continue on their work functions shall not be interpreted as the breach of their work duties. For that time when the work is being suspended, the employer shall pay the employees their average wages.

The work must be suspended when the working environment becomes hazardous, or there is any threat for the employees’ safety and health. Considering an emergency situation due to the coronavirus in Lithuania, and the threat to the employees’ safety and health, the employers must employ any available protection measures, or suspend the activities of their companies. In this case, the employees have to receive their average wages for this period.

If the committee of the employees’ safety and health, or the safety and health representatives of employees require from the head of the department or any other representative of the employer to suspend their work, and they refuse to do so, the representative of the employee shall immediately inform the SLI. Upon assessing the state of the employees’ safety and health, the labour inspector can adopt a decision to suspend the work process, and file in the demand for the employer’s representative.
If the requirement is ignored, the inspector may call the police to suspend the work of the company and assist the employees in leaving the work premises. Until the requirement to suspend the work process is satisfies, the employees’ whose safety and health are endangered shall have the right to discontinue their work and leave the premises.

If healthcare workers, officers and other employees get infected while performing their functions with the disease the emergency situation is declared due to, they will get paid the highest possible sickness benefit, i.e. 100 percent of their wages after taxes (or 77.58 percent of their wages before taxes).
The legal regulation shall be applicable to those persons who have got infected before the regulation has come into force. At the moment, the specialists get a usual sickness benefit in amount of 62.06 percent of their wages before taxes. Higher sickness benefit will be paid, e.g., for pharmacists, cashiers, social workers, etc. In every case, a territorial branch of SODRA shall receive documents justifying the relation between the performance of work functions and the disease. 

To avoid the reduction of working places and dismissal of the employees who are in downtime, upon the declaration of the emergency situation and quarantine, the employers who preserve working places for the employed persons (employees) shall be paid a subsidy for the gross wages.
To get the subsidy, please apply to the Employment Agency.
After the Government has declared an emergency situation and quarantine, many self-employed people were forced to suspend or restrict their activities. Therefore, the Government adopted a resolution to pay EUR 257 per month for self-employed people.
To get the benefit for the self-employed, please apply to the Employment Agency.