Covid-19 | Legal solutions in Latvia

15.03.2020 Covid-19 | Legal solutions in Latvia

Due to potential risks, on 13 March 2020 the Parliament approved decision of the Cabinet and an emergency situation was declared in Latvia until 14 April 2020 in connection with the rapid spread of coronavirus disease (COVID–19) in Europe and also in Latvia.

Not only the virus affects people’s lives, it also damages the fulfilment of the obligations, including those arising from employment relationships, of Latvian companies and the global economy as whole. Not only the virus affects people’s lives, it also damages the fulfilment of the obligations, including those arising from employment relationships, of Latvian companies and the global economy as whole. 


TGS Baltic helps clients to find the best solutions to reduce the impact of the emergency situation on business under these circumstances. 
Our offices in all three Baltic countries share their expertise to help all our clients by finding the right solution to every case. 


Taking into account that an employer is obliged, among other things, to ensure fair and safe working conditions that are not harmful to the health of employees; and employees are also obliged to refrain from actions that endanger life, health or property of the employee or other persons, in this emergency situation in the name of a safe working environment and public interests a mutual understanding and co-operation is very important.
Employers and employees in Latvia are increasingly facing issues that should be addressed in this emergency situation.

TGS Baltic provides answers to few common questions by employers:

  • an employer has a right to order an employee to undergo health examination (covering the expenses) if there is a cause for suspicion;
  • an employee may not refuse to come to work if there is no justifiable reason, e.g. a temporary incapacity; “self-isolation period” prescribed by the doctor (issued sick-leave certificate) or other;
  • an employer has a right to suspend an employee from work only in case when failure to suspend the employee from work may be detrimental to his/her or others health or safety, e.g., an employee refuses to follow the order to undergo health examination;
  • if an employer is forced to shut down its operations, i.e., idle time, the employer is obliged to disburse the remuneration to the employees for that period. Although each situation is individual and different, in some cases there will be necessity to take decisions on staff reduction or even termination of operations of the company;
  • during the idle time, an employer has the right to assign an employee to perform work not provided for in the employment contract (not exceeding 2 months);
  • during the emergency situation period, to ensure safe everyday life for the employees, parties may mutually agree on necessary temporary changes in employment relations, e.g., work from home, additional paid or unpaid vacation, part-time work and other changes.

We recommend to communicate with your employees, to come to mutually beneficial employment conditions during this emergency situation period and to follow the general instructions of the relevant authorities and officials.
At the same time, we also recommend that you review the existing cooperation agreements with your business partners, evaluate their terms and conditions and the rights and obligations of the parties in this emergency situation.


TGS Baltic team is ready to help you and share our experience to find effective solutions for your business to be able to adapt to the current conditions and constraints in Latvia. 


If you have any questions regarding restrictions on COVID-19 in Latvia, their impact on the employment relationships or your business in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your contact person at TGS Baltic or write to:


Andra Rubene

andra.rubene@tgsbaltic.com

Toms Tīdemanis

toms.tidemanis@tgsbaltic.com