Factsheet for case LT-2021-12/1858 – measures in Lithuania
|Country||Lithuania , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 19 March 2021 – 30 June 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
|Author||Rasa Mieziene, Inga Blaziene (Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences)|
|Case created||13 April 2021 (updated 23 July 2021)|
On 19 March 2021, a description of the conditions of the measure “Compensated COVID-19 testing for small- and medium-sized business (SMB)” (the Description), as approved by Order No 4-209 of the Minister for the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, came into force stipulating that SMB would be able to test their employees and receive compensation from the state for the tests performed. The aim of the measure is to ensure control of the spread of the virus among employees, to reduce the number of outbreaks in the workplace, to enable business entities to carry out economic activities safely, and to ensure business continuity.
The Description provides that compensation applications may be filed by any SMB and persons carrying out individual business activities. The compensation shall cover:
The basic compensation eligibility requirements are as follows:
Business entities will be required to test employees on a regular basis: antibody testing will be required no more frequently than every 60 days, antigen testing – at intervals between 7 and 10 days. Participation in the measure is voluntary both for business entities and personal healthcare facilities. Personal healthcare facilities willing to participate in the implementation of the measure shall sign service contracts with businesses wishing to have compensated COVID-19 testing for their employees.
Applications for the measure can be submitted from 29 March 2021 to UAB Investicijų ir Verslo Garantijos (INVEGA). The compensations will be granted to cover testing costs incurred from 23 February 2021 until 31 May 2021.
According to the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, the amount allocated for compensated testing of employees is €30 million. These funds should cover testing of about 100,000 employees, and one person could be tested up to 12 times in three months. This form of support, however, appears to not have received much attention. According to INVEGA, a total of 11 applications have been submitted and are being processed as of 2 April 2021. According to INVEGA, a total of 272 applications were submitted in the period from 19 March 2021 to 29 June 2021 for the total amount of €0.71 million.
|Applies to all workers||
||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners jointly
Company / Companies
Public support service providers
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Direct consultation outside a formal body||Direct consultation outside a formal body|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Social partners consulted only ad hoc, the tripartite meeting was not held.
In the opinion of the Chairlady of the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LTUC), the country’s legislation stipulates that the safety of employees at the workplace is the responsibility of the employer. Therefore, employers should not wait for state support. Testing is beneficial for all employers, because losses in the event of bringing production to a halt will be greater than investment in testing. According to her, state aid for employee testing should not apply to all businesses.
According to the President of the Vilnius Industry and Business Association (VIBA), employee testing is less relevant for the members of the association, as they comply with extremely strict safety requirements. Regular testing is therefore a waste of time and a burden for employees. According to him, testing is more relevant in the field of services, where there are direct contacts with customers which are every time different.
Eurofound (2021), Compensated COVID-19 testing for small- and medium-sized enterprises, case LT-2021-12/1858 (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.