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Employment Law in Lithuania

The Constitution lays down a certain number of labour rights:

  • right to freely form societies, political parties and associations, provided that the aims and activities thereof do not contradict the Constitution and laws

  • right to freely choose an occupation or business

  • right to adequate, safe and healthy working conditions

  • right to adequate remuneration for work

  • right to social security in the event of unemployment

  • prohibition of forced labour, except military service or alternative service, as well as labour which is executed during war, natural calamity, epidemic or other urgent circumstances, or labour performed in places of confinement

  • right to rest and leisure as well as to annual paid holidays

  • right to organise a trade union

  • right of trade unions to function independently

  • equality of the trade unions rights

  • right of the employees to strike in order to protect their economic and social interests under conditions and procedures established by law.

The legislator chose another way to put aside the adoption of the Labour Code and started to enact separate laws regulating groups of the labour relations. Thus, within a historically very short period of time, the most important labour laws were adopted:

  • on 9 January 1991 — the Law on Wages

  • on 4 April 1991 — the Law on Collective Agreements

  • on 21 November 1991 — the Law on Trade Unions

  • on 28 November 1991 — the Law on Employment Contract

  • on 17 December 1991 — the Law on Holidays

  • on 17 March 1992 — the Law on the Regulation of Collective Disputes

  • on 7 October 1993 — the Law on Safety and Health of Employees and other laws.

The sources of labour law are the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, international agreements of the Republic of Lithuania, the present Labour Code, other laws and regulations that are not contrary to the Code, as well as regulatory provisions of collective agreements.

"The Government resolutions and other regulations may regulate labour relations only in the cases and to the extent determined by this Code and other laws.

"The provisions of the regulations of the Government, other state and municipal institutions, establishing for the employees conditions less favourable than those established by this Code and other labour laws, shall be invalid."

However, in practice the laws adopted by the state or individual contracts of employment, rather than provisions of collective agreements, regulate labour conditions (remuneration, working hours, annual leave, conclusion and termination of contract of employment, etc).

Employment Law in Lithuania: Quick Facts
  • The probation may not exceed a time period of three months. Probationary Periods

  • An employment contract is defined as an agreement between an employer and an employee, whereby the latter commits to working for, and under the management and supervision of, the former in return for a wage. Employment Contracts

  • The minimum hourly wage is 450 Lithuanian Litas (EUR 130) and the minimum hourly rate has been Lithuanian Litas 2,53 (EUR 0,73). Minimum Wages

  • Employees' normal working time must not generally exceed 40 hours per week. Working Hours and Days

  • Employees are generally entitled to a lunch break and to a weekly rest. Rest Breaks and Rest Periods

  • Employees are entitled to 20 days’ paid annual leave after they have completed six months' service. Annual Leave

  • Pregnant employees are entitled to maternity leave. An employer must not dismiss a pregnant employee nor send any notice during pregnancy or maternity leave. Maternity Leave

  • Employees are generally entitled to sick leave pay. Sick Leave

  • The employer may not discriminate between working men and women with regard to type of work, amount of wage or salary, employment, promotion, professional qualifications and apparel. Discrimination

  • There is a general, non-specific ban on any discrimination that prejudices equal opportunity employment, equal access to jobs, equal continuity of employment or equal enjoyment of rights, and on discrimination between employees with the same work duties. Disability is the only grounds on which discrimination is specifically prohibited.

  • Employers must provide employees with adequate means of protection against hazards of occupational injury and disease that may occur during work. They also have a range of specific obligations. Health and Safety Regulations

  • In principle, an employer may dismiss an employee at any time without notice on certain misconduct-related grounds. Other reasons of termination will lead to unlawful termination and end-of-service gratuity. Termination of Employment