On 23rd of October 2014 the parliament of the Republic of Latvia supported and adopted the law “Amendments to the Labour law”, which is going to come into force on the 1st of January 2015. Major changes to the Labour law are intended with these amendments, which are going to establish new rights, obligations and fields of liabilities regarding both – employers and employees. According to the intended amendments, changes are going to be made in the regulation of working and rest time, the conditions for information to be included in job advertisements and employment contracts, the regulation regarding payment of leave money, and also regarding the protection of those employees who are breastfeeding a child.

In accordance with amendments to Section 32 it is provided that henceforth in a job advertisement, in addition to the firm name of an employer – a legal person or its recruitment undertaking, which assesses the suitability of applicants on behalf of the employer and carries out the selection procedure – its registration number also is going to have to be specified. In this way it is intended to ensure the possibility to get more precise information about the firm which is in search of employees.

Amendments to Section 151 provide that henceforward the annual paid supplementary leave shall also be granted to employees who have less than three children under 14 years of age, for no less than one working day. Annual paid supplementary leave shall be transferred or extended in case of temporary incapacity of an employee.

By supplementing Section 35 with Paragraph 12, employer is going to be obliged to debar employee from the contracted work in case if the employee is unable to perform the contracted work due to his or her state of health and such state is certified with a doctor’s opinion. In such case the employer shall pay compensation to the employee for the time when he or she is debarred from the contracted work.

Section 40, which regulates the form of an employment contract, is going to be supplemented with Paragraphs 9, 10, 11 and 12. With these innovations it is going to be established that henceforth the condition about foreign language skill is not going to be included in the employment contract, except cases when such skill is justifiably necessary for the performance of work. A condition is going to be introduced with Paragraph 10 that the employer shall inform the employee in writing in an understandable language for the employee about the conditions of employment contract in case if the employee is a foreigner who doesn’t know the national language in a sufficient level. An obligation for the employer – to present the contracts entered into upon request by a supervisory and control authority, is going to be established by adding Paragraph 11.

Paragraph 3 is going to be excluded from Section 44. In this paragraph it is stated that an employment contract with members of executive bodies of capital companies shall be entered into, unless they are employed on the basis of another contract governed by civil law.

By amending Paragraph 1 of Section 45 the maximum term of an employment contract entered into for a specified period is going to be extended from three to five years. In its turn the term in which the entering into a new employment contract with the same employer is going to be regarded as extension of term of the employment contract is going to be excluded from 30 to 60 days. With these amendments it is intended to bring up the competitiveness of the Country and to proportionate the costs of labour, as well as to reduce the possibility of dishonest contracts for a specified period in cases when the employer needs the employees for an unspecified period.

Section 58 is also going to be supplemented. This section regulates the order in which an employee can be suspended from work. The Section is going to be supplemented with a new Paragraph – No 6. This Paragraph is going to oblige employers to issue a written order to the employee in cases when the employee is being suspended from work.

Along with the amendments the employee won’t lose his or her right to receive compensation for the observance of restriction on competition in cases when the employer has given a notice of termination of an employment contract on the basis of the provisions of Section 101, Paragraph one, Clause 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 of Labour Law. These amendments are intended by excluding Paragraph 2 from Section 85.

Major changes have been made to Section 96, which grants the rights of an employee to retain the workplace in case when he or she has been sent for occupational training or to raise qualification thus interrupting work. The Section is going to be supplemented with eight new and extensive paragraphs. With Paragraph 2 it is going to be set that the employer and employee can enter into a separate agreement about the occupational training or the raise of qualification and the covering of its costs in cases when according to circumstances the occupational training or the raise of qualification is going to be related with the contracted work. In Paragraph 3 is going to be granted an employer’s right to claim compensation from the employee about the costs for occupational training or raise of qualification in case when the employee gives a notice of termination before the end of the agreement term, except the case mentioned in Paragraph 5 of Section 100. In Paragraph 4 there are going to be listed prerequisites according to which an agreement between the employer and employee about the training can be made. In the following paragraphs of the Section is stated what has to be indicated in the agreement, in which cases the agreement is not in force, in which cases the employer has the right to claim compensation for the costs and in which not, what are the consequences if an employee withdraws from occupational training or raise of qualification.

Chapter 26 of the Labour Law is going to be supplemented with Section 112.1 in which the order of giving a notice of termination is going to be regulated. The Section regulates that a notice of termination can be given to the other party personally in hand, delivered with the participation of a messenger (also a bailiff), delivered by using the services of a postal operator, and also by using a secure electronic signature if it is specified in the contract of employment.

By supplementing Section 147, which contains conditions about temporary absence, with Paragraphs 3 and 4, it is intended that employees who have a child under 18 years of age is going to have the right for temporary absence in case of the child’s illness or accident, as well as in the case of participation in child’s health test, if such test cannot be done outside of working time.

Henceforth after donating blood the employee upon agreement with the employer is going to be allowed to use the rest day in another time not right after the donation day, but within the term of one year. The employer is going to have to pay for no more than five such days per year. This is intended by amendments to Paragraph 6 of Section 74.

The protection of employees who are breastfeeding is going to be limited by supplementing the term “during the whole period of breastfeeding” with a condition “but no longer than till the age of 2 years of the child”. Such limitation is intended in Paragraph 3 of Section 62, Paragraph 1 of Section 109, Paragraph 7 of Section 13