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for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

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in the development of better social, employment and
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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case LT-2020-31/1129 – measures in Lithuania

Improvement of working conditions for employees with serious health problems

Darbo sąlygų gerinimas darbuotojams, turintiems sunkių sveikatos sutrikimų

Country Lithuania , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 August 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Inga Blaziene (Lithuanian Social Research Centre) and Eurofound
Case created 15 September 2020 (updated 15 October 2020)

Background information

On 1 August 2020, Law No XIII -2944 Amending Articles 2, 21, 26, 41, 52, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 72, 75, 83, 89, 93, 95, 104, 110, 112, 117, 127, 128, 135, 137, 140, 141, 144, 147, 172, 185, 188, 192, 193, 194, 198, 224, 225 and 228 of the Labour Code (LC) and Adding Article 72-1 to the Code came into force in Lithuania, facilitating the situation of employees with serious illnesses at work. People with serious health problems became particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the amendments to the LC aimed at reducing their risks and providing them with better protection at work.

Content of measure

The amendments to the LC entrenched the following provisions:

  • formally validated prohibition of discrimination against employees on the basis of a medical condition. Until now, such a ground for discrimination has not been established in Lithuania;
  • created opportunities for employees with medical conditions to work for part of their working time remotely. From 1 August 2020, the employer is obliged to satisfy a request for telework when this is requested by an employee who has submitted a medical opinion from a health care institution on his/her illness. Teleworking may be refused only if this is not possible because of the peculiarities of the organisation of work;
  • the LC provides for higher severance pay when an employee who is no longer able to perform his or her duties due to a medical condition is dismissed. Employees who have worked for less than one year will be paid one month’s salary and those who have worked for more than a year will be paid two months’ salary;
  • there is an obligation for the employer to ensure that employees under treatment would be able to take leave as a matter of priority.

Use of measure

No information available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Other groups of workers
The COVID-19 risk group at the workplace
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Employer

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level

Involvement

The amendments to the LC were initiated by cancer patients’ organisations and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania. The project was analysed by the Labour Relations Commission at the Tripartite Council (TC) of the Republic of Lithuania.

Views and reactions

The SP unanimously supported the amendments to the LC. Comments from the Cancer Patients Support Association (POLA) were also taken into account when considering the draft amendments to the LC. According to the POLA, it is necessary to ensure better legal protection for people with cancer, because cancer patients are not eligible to the status of a disabled person and cannot avail of benefits available to the disabled until the intensive care process is completed.

Sources

  • 21 May 2020: Law No XIII -2944 Amending Articles 2, 21, 26, 41, 52, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 72, 75, 83, 89, 93, 95, 104, 110, 112, 117, 127, 128, 135, 137, 140, 141, 144, 147, 172, 185, 188, 192, 193, 194, 198, 224, 225 and 228 of the Labour Code and Adding Article 72-1 to the Code (LR darbo kodekso 2, 21, 26, 41, 52, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 72, 75, 83, 89, 93, 95, 104, 110, 112, 117, 127, 128, 135, 137, 140, 141, 144, 147, 172, 185, 188, 192, 193, 194, 198, 224, 225, 228 straipsnių pakeitimo ir Kodekso papildymo 72-1 straipsniu įstatymas) (www.e-tar.lt)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Improvement of working conditions for employees with serious health problems, case LT-2020-31/1129 (measures in Lithuania), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.