Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure LV-2020-11/301 – Updated – measures in Latvia
|Country||Latvia , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 14 March 2020 – 30 June 2020|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
|Author||Kriss Karnitis (EPC) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||06 April 2020 (updated 20 January 2021)|
The measure consists of an allowance which is granted to employees suspended from working during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the idle time period. The period of idle time corresponds to a period lasting from 14 March 2020 until 14 May 2020, but could be shortened through a decision of the Cabinet on the emergency situation.
The measure in general is described in Section 14 of the law 'On Measures for the Prevention and Suppression of Threat to the State and Its Consequences Due to the Spread of COVID-19' (adopted on 20 March 2020, valid from 22 March 2020).
Initially the conditions of eligibility for the allowances for idle time for employees were regulated by the Regulation of Cabinet of Ministers No. 152, 'Regulations Regarding the Allowance for Idle Time for the Employees Affected by COVID-19', adopted on 24 March 2020. On 28 March 2020, the new Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 165, 'Regulations Regarding the Employers Affected by the Crisis Caused by COVID-19 which are Eligible for the Allowance for Idle Time and Division of the Payment for Late Tax Payments in Instalments or Deferral Thereof for up to Three Years' replaced the previous one.
The allowance for the idle time is determined by the State Revenue Service, in the amount of 75% of the average monthly gross work remuneration, calculated for the period corresponding to the last six months before the declaration of the emergency situation, or in accordance with the actual data declared by employees within the previous six months. It cannot exceed €700 per calendar month. The allowance for idle time is not subject to personal income tax and to mandatory State social insurance contributions. The employers and taxpayers, afflicted by the COVID-19 crisis, that can apply for the allowance, are those with:
From 25 March 2020 to 31 July 2020, 6,830 employers have received an allowance based on 18,813 applications (including submissions regarding the contestation of the adopted decision). 127,204 allowances have been granted to 52,828 employees. The total sum of granted allowances is €51,5 million. In compliance with State Revenue service information the most popular professions were: salesmen in retail trade and salesmen - consultant, cooks, waiters, and kitchen workers. 25% of employees who received the benefit were employed in accommodation and food service activities sector, 19% in manufacturing, 15% in wholesale and retail trade sector. By number of companies employing receivers of benefit 20% of allowances went to wholesale and retail trade sector, 14% to accommodation and food service activities sector. The professional, scientific and technical activities sector, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector and manufacturing each received around 9%.
Employees in standard employment
||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
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:
Top level social partner organisations – the Latvian Employers’ confederation and the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia – on 17 March 2020 has published 'Statement on support for government action to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the impact of the crisis on Latvian companies and workers'. The social partners emphasized the need for cooperation of government, businesses, workers and citizens to ensure that everything we do helps to address this crisis.
As far as we know, the social partners participate in discussions on measures for the prevention and suppression the spread of COVID-19 and on crisis impact on economy. However specific opinions of social partners are not published.
Eurofound (2020), Idle-time allowance for employees , measure LV-2020-11/301 (measures in Latvia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/LV-2020-11_301.html
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