31 Märts 2004
Under transitional arrangements agreed by the EU and the new Member States in central and eastern Europe which will join in 1 May 2004, the existing Member States may limit movements of workers from the new Member States for a period of up to seven years after enlargement. In late 2003 and early 2004, the current Member States followed one another in announcing that they are to put in place such restrictions in order to protect their labour markets. In Latvia, this appeared to meet with public understanding, and there has been little discussion of the legal and ethical issues arising from these labour market restrictions and plans for restricting social security benefits. This is probably explained by a number of factors. First, Latvia itself saw a high level of immigration in the 1960s, when rapid industrialisation facilitated the inflow of workers from other Soviet republics. Second, job opportunities in the current Member States have not been entirely removed, and skilled specialists still have the possibility of working in the present EU. Third, there are not that many people in Latvia who would like to move permanently and work in the current Member States.
31 Märts 2004
In this feature, we trace the development of trade unions in Latvia and examine their current organisation, structure, activity and membership, as well as the legislative framework.
10 Märts 2004
Before pension reforms undertaken in the mid-1990s, 'long-service pensions' were a feature of Latvia's state-financed pension system. The system provided for a lower retirement age in occupations where: working conditions were dangerous for health (high stress, or exposure to various physical risk factors, such as dangerous substances, fumes and noise etc); ability to work in the occupation depended on age (musicians, dancers etc); or the occupation or work position was recognised as having special merit. The number of people awarded long-service pensions was 1,200 in 1990 and 7,200 in 1993. Long-service pensions constitute about 3% of total pension expenditure.
09 Veebruar 2004
In January 2004, the Ministry of Welfare submitted guidelines for elimination of 'undeclared' employment to the cabinet, and is now drawing up an action plan on the issue for the period 2005-9.
08 Detsember 2003
Before the beginning of Latvian independence and economic and political transition in 1990, the automotive sector formed a notable part of the overall mechanical engineering and metalworking industry. It consisted of several large enterprises:
02 November 2003
The Law on the Protection of Employees in the Event of their Employer’s Insolvency lays down the basic principles for securing employees’ claims when their employer becomes insolvent, and the procedure for financing these claims. The law provides for creation of a guarantee fund for employees’ claims, and introduced a new 'entrepreneurial risk fee', part of which is used to finance the guarantee fund. This fund acts as a state guarantee institution and its assets are held and managed by the Insolvency Administration (Maksātnespējas administrācija), a state agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice. The activity of the Insolvency Administration is also governed by the Law on the Insolvency of Enterprises and Businesses, and part of the income from the entrepreneurial risk fee is thus also spent on carrying out the Administration's functions under this law – such as administrators’ training, certification and supervision - and covering administration costs.
30 Oktoober 2003
According to Latvian labour law, the minimum wage paid may not be lower than the minimum set by the government. The national minimum wage is not linked to any specific economically-based income indicator, with the cabinet determining the minimum wage for 'normal-time' employees and the minimum hourly rate on the basis of fiscal and social considerations. On 27 May 2003, the government announced that it planned to double the national minimum wage over a period of seven years (LV0307101N ). The current monthly minimum of LVL 70 (EUR 106) for full-time employees will be increased to LVL 318 (EUR 210) - ie 50% of the average gross wage - by 2010. In 2004, the minimum wage will be increased by 14.3% to LVL 80 (EUR 121) a month. In subsequent years, the rate of growth will be slower, at an annual average of 9.4%-10.2%. These increases in the minimum wage are possible due to rapid economic growth and efforts to combat the undeclared payment of wages.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/government-plans-to-double-minimum-wage
30 Oktoober 2003
Largely in the light of forthcoming accession to the EU (in 2004), Latvian health and safety legislation is being gradually improved. Over 2001-3, a number of items of legislation have been adopted, marking a new approach to the development of the working environment and the health protection of employees. The most notable developments have included: the 2001 Labour Protection Law (which entered force on 1 January 2002); Cabinet Regulation No. 18 of 2002 stipulating health and safety requirements at the workplace (issued in compliance with Section 1.25 of the Labour Protection Law); a 2002 Regulation related to the United Nations International Declaration on Cleaner Production; a 2002 procedure for the investigation and registration of accidents at work; and a 2001 procedure on internal monitoring of the working environment .
30 Oktoober 2003
In 1999, the cabinet adopted a 'concept' entitled 'On the promotion of employment in the country', which envisages the drawing up of an annual National Employment Plan (NEP), complying with EU employment policy (Latvia is to join the EU in 2004). The first NEP was developed in 2000. In early July 2003, over half a year late, the government adopted the NEP for 2003.
07 Juuli 2003
According to Latvian labour law, the minimum wage paid may not be lower than the minimum set by the government. The national minimum wage is not linked to any economically-based income indicator, with the cabinet determining the minimum wage for 'normal-time' employees and the minimum hourly rate on the basis of fiscal and social considerations. From a very low level - EUR 3.48 in 1992 (1 LVL currently equals 0.661 EUR) - the monthly minimum wage has increased to EUR 105.9 in 2003. The government: raised the minimum wage twice in 1992 (to EUR 5.07 and EUR 11.35); doubled it in 1993 (to EUR 22.70); raised it twice in 1994 (to EUR 34.04 and EUR 42.36); increased it in 1996 (to EUR 57.49), 1998 (to EUR 63.54), 1999 (to EUR 75.64) and 2001 (to EUR 90.77); and set it at EUR 105.9 from 1 January 2003.