New legal amendments in Latvia will ensure effective labour protection.
The Labour Protection Law has been substantially amended. The changes concern the safety and health protection of remote employees as well as of self-employed persons.
In the case of remote employment, a risk assessment of the work environment must be carried out for the type of work if carried out in different places; in turn, the employer does not have to check each workplace in person. Under the principle of integrity of privacy, visiting a home as a designated workplace is only allowed with the employee’s consent. The employee must cooperate with the employer in assessing the risks of the working environment.
In future the self-employed will have to follow the general principles of labour protection, as far as this is consistent with the nature of the work to be carried out.
Among other things, the changes will also affect bigger companies: a company with 250 or more employees will need at least two labour protection specialists, so that the company can carry out all labour protection duties properly. This will not be necessary if the company uses the services of a licensed service provider for that purpose.
These amendments to the Labour Protection Law enter into force on 1 July 2020.
Further changes to the labour law are announced, but not yet decided. In view of the situation in the labour market, some provisions of the Labour Law are planned to be cancelled, including a ban on suspending a disabled employee’s contract of employment ‒ all in order to reduce barriers for employers and to promote employment of people with disabilities.
At the same time, if employee numbers are to be reduced, the rule will remain so that disability should also be considered an advantage to continued employment if results and qualifications do not differ significantly.
Further changes are planned as regards posting of employees in service industries. These involve remuneration of posted workers, responsibilities of i. a. temporary employment agencies and a more detailed regulation of long-term assignments (longer than 12 months).