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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-2021-12/1858 – measures in Lithuania

Compensated COVID-19 testing for small- and medium-sized enterprises

COVID-19 tyrimų kompensavimas smulkaus ir vidutinio verslo įmonėms

Country Lithuania , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 19 March 2021 – 31 May 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category 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 10 May 2021)

Background information

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.

Content of measure

The Description provides that compensation applications may be filed by any SMB and persons carrying out individual business activities. The compensation shall cover:

  • €12 per rapid serology test for antibodies;
  • €12 per rapid antigen test for SARS-CoV-2.

The basic compensation eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • The applicant should have not reached the state aid ceiling of €200,000 over the past two years;
  • The applicant is not subject to bankruptcy, restructuring and/or liquidation proceedings.

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.

Use of measure

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.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
Company / Companies
Public support service providers
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Social partners consulted only ad hoc, the tripartite meeting was not held.

Views and reactions

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.

Sources

  • 10 March 2021: The aid did not encourage for employee testing: the ministry is to change the procedure (Numatyta parama testuoti darbuotojų nepaskatino: ministerija ruošiasi keisti tvarką) (www.delfi.lt)
  • 18 March 2021: Description of the conditions of the measure “Compensated COVID-19 testing for small- and medium-sized business" (Priemonės „COVID-19 tyrimų kompensavimas smulkiojo ir vidutinio verslo (SVV) subjektams“ sąlygų aprašas) (e-seimas.lrs.lt)
  • 29 March 2021: Applications for employee testing compensation are already accepted (Jau priimamos paraiškos dėl kompensacijų už darbuotojų testavimą) (eimin.lrv.lt)

Citation

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.