Call-out service: on an hourly or daily basis? What do Lithuanian employers need to be aware of?
The new Labour Code foresees two types of on-call duty - active and passive. Active on-call duty means carrying out security-type work. Passive on-call duty means employee availability at the employer’s call at a certain place to start work immediately if necessary (for example: IT specialist, doctor). A special type of passive on-call duty is call-out service. This is the case when an employee is not available at the workplace itself for a potential assignment but at home.
The type of call-out service has to be agreed with the employee in the employment contract.
Only the actual amount of time needed for actual service qualifies as working time. The maximum length of time allowed on call is one week over a four-week period. According to the Lithuanian labour inspectorate, which issued a written statement on 31 October 2017 again explaining how the call-out service works, an employer can arrange a call-out service not just on a daily basis but also hourly. Note, however, that in these cases the call-out service hours should not exceed 168 working hours within a four-week period. Note, too, that the call-out must be remunerated.
In addition to payment for actual working time, the employer should make an extra standby payment of not less than 20 percent of the employee’s average pay. In the case of a call-out service period of less than one week, the additional payment should be paid in relation to the actual call-out service period . According to the labour inspectorate, the employer should establish the exact calculation and accounting for the additional payment in the company’s salary system, as this has to contain the rate of compensation and also the amount of payment required for the bonus payment system and regulations regarding pay rises. We recall that employers with an average of twenty and more employees should set up such a salary system.