Seimas adopted a new labour code

The Seimas adopted amendments to the new Labour Code and the accompanying legislation due to come into force on 1 July 2017. The amendments were developed in accordance with the proposals approved by consensus at the Tripartite Council. The new provisions were passed by 84 votes in favour, 10 against and 29 abstentions. The Seimas amended 45 articles in the new Labour Code.

The adopted amendments enshrine an employee’s and employer’s professional legal capacity and capacity to act in order to allow all individuals, including those with disabilities, to participate in the labour market.

The Code imposes an obligation on an employer to provide information on remuneration, fixed-term contracts, teleworking, part-time work and temporary staff. This information will be provided at the request of the Works Council or, in the absence thereof, to a trade union operating at the level of an employer.

The amendments provide for part-time work when an employer is not able to provide employees with work due to important economic circumstances, which arise objectively in a particular territory or economic sector and are recognised as such by the Government, and preconditions for collective redundancies occur.

With a view to ensuring the principle of legislative economy, the Minister of Social Security and Labour, rather than the Government, was entrusted with certain functions such as approving a model contract of employment, procedure for terminating an employment contract when it is impossible to identify the location of an employer, procedure for notifying of collective dismissals, etc.

The amendments revise the provision on a temporary employment contract and establish that only a temporary employment undertaking, which complies with the procedures and criteria laid down by the Government or a body authorised by it, may be a contracting party in its capacity as an employer.

The new amendments also require holding consultations with workers’ representatives prior to introducing summary recording of working time. Workers will have to be informed of work (shift) schedules not later than 7 days prior to the date of their entry into force. In case of summary recording of working time, the maximum working time may not exceed 52 hours per week, including additional work and standby duty.

The recording period of night working time is extended from 1 to 3 months when collective agreements at the higher level than that of an employer do not provide otherwise. Working time recording will cover all employees, except those who have a constant work schedule.

Employees engaged in mobile work or work involving travelling will be compensated for higher expenses related for this reason to the hours actually worked. The compensation amount must not exceed 50 % of the basic remuneration or remuneration for regular working time and will be paid only when mission expenses are not covered.

When, upon termination of the employment relationship, an employer delays a final remuneration to an employee through no fault of an employee, an employer will have to pay penalties in the amount of an average monthly remuneration multiplied by the number of months of delay for a period of no longer than six months. When the delayed remuneration is lower than an average monthly remuneration, the amount of the penalty will be multiplied by the number of months of delay but no more than six months.

The Seimas approved the proposal that employment contracts with persons representing employees could not be terminated until the settlement of a labour dispute. Trade unions functioning at the level of an employer will have to provide an employer, within 10 working days from the entry into force of the Labour Code, with a list of members of their governing bodies, who are entitled to these guarantees. The newly established trade unions will have to present these lists within 10 days from the date of their establishment.

The amendments provide that a works council will not be formed when a trade union including over a third of the total number of employees functions at the level of an employer. In this case, a trade union acquires all the powers of a works council and carries out all the functions assigned to a works council.

The Seimas specified the provisions on forming the Tripartite Council. It will be formed for a period of 4 years and consist of 21 members. The trade unions operating at the national level, the employers, and the Government each will delegate 7 representatives. The composition of the Tripartite Council will be formalised by a Government resolution.

The Seimas approved the new provisions on prohibitions during strikes. Following the decision to call a strike and during the strike, an employer will be prohibited from taking any unilateral decision to fully or in part stop the work (activities) of an undertaking, agency, organisation or structural division; preventing all or individual employees from coming to their workplaces or refusing to provide employees with work or work tools; and creating other conditions or adopting decisions, which may completely or in part stop the activities of the entire undertaking, agency, organisation or its structural units. During a strike, an employer will be prohibited from employing new employees to replace the striking employees, except in cases when it is necessary to ensure minimum services, but it is not possible to do so according to the procedure and conditions laid down in this Code. However, this restriction will not apply when a lock-out is announced in accordance with the procedure established in this Code.

If Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė does not veto the new legislation, it should come into force as of July 1.

Pažeidžiamos Jūsų teisės darbe? Praneškite apie tai mums!