Hire in Lithuania
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Lithuania.
Key Country Facts
Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe that shares land borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the south and east and Russia to the southwest. It is located on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania gained its independence from the Soviet Union on March 11, 1990.
Lithuania covers a total area of 65,286 square kilometers and has a total coastline of 90 kilometers. Along with several small lakes and swamps, the country contains a mixed forest zone that covers approximately 33% of the country.
Lithuania has a humid semi-continental climate with very cold winters and mild, moderately rainy summers. Along the coast, average temperatures are just below freezing in the winter and around 18 degrees Celsius in the summer. In the inland areas, temperatures are slightly lower in winter and higher in summer. Rain is frequent throughout the year and the coastline sees higher precipitation than the inland areas.
Lithuanian culture combines its indigenous customs with Nordic, Germanic and Slavic traditions that resulted from the country’s historical ties with Poland as well as its transition from Soviet occupation to an independent Baltic state.
Almost 80% of the population is Roman Catholic while Evangelical Lutherans and other Protestants make up about 5%. Approximately 15% of the population does not identify with a religion or are believers in Paganism.
The official language of Lithuania is Lithuanian, which is spoken by approximately 85% of the population. About 70% of people can speak Russian and it is the second most frequently spoken language. Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian are also spoken but mainly in the larger cities. Yiddish is commonly spoken by members of Lithuania’s small remaining Jewish community.
Lithuania HR at a Glance
The sources of labor law are the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, international agreements of the Republic of Lithuania, the present Labour Code and collective agreements.
The Constitution lays down a certain number of labor rights, including but not limited to:
- right to freely choose an occupation or business
- right to adequate, safe and healthy working conditions
- right to adequate remuneration for work
- right to social security in the event of unemployment
- prohibition of forced labor (except military service or alternative service as well as labor which is executed during war, natural calamity, epidemic or other urgent circumstances) or labor performed in places of confinement
- right to rest and leisure as well as to annual paid holidays
- right to organize a trade union
Employers must inform the territorial labor exchanges about their job vacancies, specifying the work functions, nature of work, remuneration, qualifications and other terms and conditions. The territorial labor exchange will register these job listings and make public announcements to people seeking work.
The employment contract must include the below details:
- parties to the employment contract
- location of employment
- position and job description
- start date
- duration of the employment
- working hours/days of week
- method and frequency of payment
- annual leave entitlements
- notice period for termination
The employment contract must not have terms and conditions that are less favorable to the employee than those provided by the Labor Code, laws, other regulatory acts and the collective agreement.
Employment contracts can be concluded for an indefinite period of time or for a fixed period of time if the work is of a temporary nature. Fixed-term contracts are not permitted for work that is of a permanent nature, unless expressly allowed by the law or collective agreement.
The employment contract (and other documents on health and safety at work, notices etc.) has to be in Lithuanian, and if the employee does not understand LIthuanian, in another language that he/she understands.
The employer is responsible for notifying the territorial office of the Lithuanian State Social Insurance Fund Board at least one business day before the employment commencement date.
Prior to the start of employment, the employer has to provide the employee with information on terms of the probation period, termination clauses on the employment contract, overtime pay, work schedule, training and social security contributions.
Regardless of the number of employees, employers have an obligation to:
- manage the potential risks of violence and harassment
- have a policy in place to prevent violence and harassment
- establish procedures for reporting on violence and harrassment
- organise trainings to employees on the risks of violence and harassment, including prevention measures and to raise their awareness of their rights relating to this
It is mandatory for employers with more than 50 employees to have a Violence and Harassment Prevention Policy.
If the nature of the employee’s work is mobile (or outdoors) and involves travelling, compensation will be at the maximum 30% higher htan the employee’s basic wage rate.
Where labor laws mandate educational, vocational qualifications or health conditions, the employer has a right to request documentation from the potential candidate confirming qualifications or health status.
Employers are not permitted to perform criminal background checks, except for specific cases where the law allows for it.
Probation Period / Trial Period
The maximum probation period is three months but an employer and its employee may agree on a shorter period. During probation, the employer has the right to terminate the employment relationship without paying severance by giving three days’ notice. However, in such a case, the employer should be able to substantiate that the employee was not suitable for the work.
For fixed-term contracts of less than 6 months, the probation period must be proportionate to the duration of the contract, which is not more than half the duration of the fixed-term contract.
The average working time, including overtime, is 48 hours per week. The maximum working time, including overtime and additional work, is 12 hours per day and 60 hours per week. The maximum overtime is hours per week (or 12 hours per week if the employee agrees). The maximum annual overtime is 180 hours.
The Labor Law establishes the standard working week as being five days with two rest days. The six-day working week with one rest day is allowed for businesses where the standard five-day working week is not possible due to the nature of its operations. A weekly uninterrupted rest period must not be shorter than 35 hours.
Employees must be granted a break of 30 minutes to two hours to rest and to eat after half of the working day. This means they should not work more than four working hours consecutively without a break.
Employees must provide written consent for overtime work. Remuneration is required to be at least 1.5 times the hourly pay.
Work schedules are to be posted on an information board no later than two weeks before their effective date. The working time actually performed by employees must be recorded in a time sheet template. For employees with flexible working hours, rules for recording working time are to be established by the employer.
Employment contracts should be stored for at least 50 years and payroll records for 10 years following termination.
Bonus and 13th Month Pay
The 13th month salary is not mandatory in Lithuania but most companies pay it as a yearly bonus.
Apart from employment termination by mutual agreement between the parties, the most common ways to terminate employment upon employer’s initiative when there is no fault of the employee are:
- dismissal due to objective reasons (ordinary dismissal) (‘darbo sutarties nutraukimas darbdavio iniciatyva be darbuotojo kaltės’)
- dismissal upon the employer’s will (‘darbo sutarties nutraukimas darbdavio valia’).
The aforementioned types of dismissals differ in terms of the reasons for dismissal, the notice period and the level of protection the employees may have against the dismissal.
Termination of employment contract must be in writing, with the legal basis for termination outlined. An employment contract can be terminated without notice if:
- the employee has been sentenced for committing a crime
- when a parent, guardian, healthcare provider or the school of enrollment of an employee under the age of 16 demands the termination
- when an employee is not able to perform the work according to a healthcare institution and is not agreeable to the transfer to another position within the same organization
- when the employment contract is in conflict with the law
The employer must inform the State Social Insurance Fund Board (SODRA) about the termination of employment no later than one day after the termination of the employment contract.
The following categories of employees are protected from termination:
- pregnant employees
- employees who are appointed for military service
- employees on maternity, paternity or parental leave
- employees raising a child under 3 years old
A fixed-term employment contract ends when the agreed term expires. The following rules on notice period and severance payment apply:
Notice period: If the employment lasted for more than a year, a notice period of five business days applies. If the employment lasted longer than three years, a notice period of 10 business days applies.
Severance payment: One average monthly salary should be paid if employment relations lasted for more than two years.
An employer can terminate an employment contract without any fault on the employee’s part only after notifying the employee in writing and confirming the termination with the signature of the employee. Such notification must be presented one month before the dismissal (or two weeks’ notice if the employment relationship is less than a year). These notice periods are doubled for employees who have less than five years left until the statutory age of old-age pension. They are tripled for employees who are raising a child (including adopted children) under the age of 14 or are raising a disabled child under the age of 18.
During the notice period, the employer must grant the employee paid time off from work to look for a new job.
The notice period for a fixed-term contract, if the employment lasted for more than a year, is five business days. If the employment lasted longer than three years, the notice period is 10 business days.
Redundancy / Severance Pay
Severance depends on the length of continuous service of the employee:
- under 12 months: one monthly average wage
- 12–36 months: two monthly average wages
- 36–60 months: three monthly average wages
- 60–120 months: four monthly average wages
- 120–240 months: five monthly average wages
- over 240 months: six monthly average wages
Upon ordinary dismissal, the dismissed employee is entitled to a severance pay of two average monthly salaries. If the employment relationship lasted less than a year, the dismissed employee must be paid half of his or her average monthly salary. Additionally, the dismissed employee may receive a severance pay from the State Social Insurance Fund Board (SODRA), with the amount depending on his or her seniority.
In the case of termination of the employment contract upon the employer’s will, the dismissed employee must be paid a severance pay of at least six times the average monthly salary.
Fixed Term Contracts
Fixed-term contracts are permitted for work concluded within a defined period of time or for a specific task to be completed. There is no limit on the maximum number of successive renewals or extension of fixed-term contracts. However, the maximum total duration of consecutive fixed-term contracts concluded with the same employee carrying out the same job function cannot exceed two years. Fixed-term contracts separated by two months or less are considered consecutive.
The maximum total duration of consecutive fixed-term contracts concluded with the same employee carrying out a different job function cannot exceed five years
Fixed-term contracts for jobs of a permanent nature may not account for more than 20% of employment contracts entered into by the employer. A fixed-term contract is deemed to be for an indefinite term if employment continues beyond the contract end date or beyond the specific task being completed.
The employer must inform employees working under fixed-term contracts about vacancies and ensure they have the same opportunities for permanent employment.
Tax and Social Security
Personal Income Tax
|Income Bracket (EUR)||Tax Rate (%)|
|Not exceeding 101,094||20.0|
Employees are covered by state social insurance and a certain percentage of wages are deducted on a monthly basis as a contribution. Social security services are administered by the State Social Insurance Fund Board (SODRA).
|Employer (%)||Employee (%)||Income Ceiling/year (EUR)|
|Social Security||1.47 (comprising unemployment 1.31%, accidents at work and occupational diseases 0.16%)*||19.5 (comprising pension 8.72%, health insurance 6.98%, sickness 1.99%, maternity 1.81%)||101,094|
*The unemployment insurance rate for fixed-term contracts is 2.03%. The rate of 0.16% is an overall rate for accidents at work and occupational disease insurance; in practice, it depends on the employer’s risk profile and ranges from 0.14% – 1.4% across four categories.
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.
There is an option to pay higher contributions (above 3%) either by individuals themselves or their employers. Such expenses are personal income tax (PIT) deductible for individuals and corporate income tax (CIT) deductible for employers.
It is the employer’s responsibility to submit and pay social security returns electronically by the 15th day of the following month.
Salary payments should be made no less than twice a month, unless there is mutual agreement between employee and employer to pay monthly.
Itemized payslips must be provided to employees on a monthly basis, specifying gross and net salary, the amount and purpose of any deductions and overtime if applicable.
Employees have a right to 20 days’ paid annual leave after they have performed six continuous months of service with an employer. Annual leave may be taken in parts but one part of the annual leave must be at least 14 calendar days.
For some categories of employees, paid annual leave is 25 calendar days. This includes employees under 18 years of age, employees who are single parents of a child under 14 (or a disabled child under 16), disabled persons and other persons provided for by law.
The following categories of employees are entitled to choose the time of annual leave after six months of uninterrupted work with the employer:
- persons under 18 years of age
- pregnant women and employees raising a child under 14 years of age or a disabled child under 18 years of age alone
Annual leave can be carried forward to the next year of employment with the consent of the employee. This is allowed when the annual leave could not be utilized in the same year due to certain circumstances (e.g. taking part in official or public duties, assisting in relief operations, special-purpose leave entitlements, etc.)
Sick pay is available to employees who have been covered by social insurance for at least three months during the last 12 months or at least six months during the last 24 months. The employer must pay between 80 and 100% of the employee’s average salary during the first two calendar days of sickness absence. During the third to the seventh day of absence, the state pays the employee 40% of his or her salary from the social insurance fund. From the eighth day of sickness absence, the state pays the employee 80% of his or her salary.
Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
Unpaid leave is granted for:
- a disabled person – up to 30 calendar days per year
- an employee who alone takes care of a disabled person – up to 30 calendar days per year (or as agreed between the parties)
- an employee taking care of a sick family member – for a period recommended by a health institution
- wedding – at least three calendar days
- an employee who gets married – at least three calendar days
- funeral of a family member – at least three but not more than five calendar days
- family emergency in case of illness or accident
Maternity & Parental Leave
Employees receive 70 days’ maternity leave before birth and 56 days’ leave after. The latter goes up to 70 days if the birth is complicated. Maternity leave is paid by the government if the minimum period of social insurance coverage has been satisfied. As a general rule, this is 12 months of insurance coverage during the last 24 months. The compensation is 100% of the previous salary, subject to a statutory cap.
Paternity leave is 30 calendar days at any time until the child reaches the age of 1 year. Paternity pay is 100% of the salary for the duration of leave, subject to a statutory cap. Paternity leave is compensated by the government if the minimum period of social insurance coverage has been satisfied. As a general rule, this is 12 months of insurance coverage during the last 24 months.
Each parent and caregiver (including grandparents or relatives who are helping to raise the child) is equally entitled to take child care leave until the child is three years old. Only one parent or caregiver can take it at a time but it can be taken in turns consecutively. The employee intending to use this leave must provide the employer with a written notice at least 14 days in advance.
Employees who have adopted newborn babies or who have been appointed as their guardians are to be granted leave for the period from the day of adoption or establishment of guardianship before the baby is 70 days old.
A breastfeeding woman must be given at least a 30 minute break at least every three hours to breastfeed. This is in addition to the regular break to rest and to eat. The breastfeeding breaks can be taken with the break to rest and eat or at the end of the working day (effectively shortening the working day).
Paid leave is granted for:
- employees raising a child under 12 years old – 1 additional day off every 3 months
- employees raising 2 children under 12 years old (where one or both children has a disability) – 2 additional paid days off every month
Unpaid leave is granted for:
- employees raising a child under 14 years old: up to 14 calendar days per year
- employees raising a disabled child under 18 years old: up to 30 calendar days year
- during maternity leave and parental leave until the child reaches three years of age as well as the father at their request: aggregate duration of 3 months in total between both parents
Employees are entitled three days’ educational leave (per examination) to prepare for entrance examinations to colleges and higher educational institutions.
Leave of Absence
Employees who are elected as representatives of a trade union are granted a leave of absence of up to six working days. The compensation of wages is to be stipulated in a collective agreement. Employees may also be granted a leave of absence to participate in state or public duties. The compensation cannot be less than the average wage of the organization they are representing.
There are 13 public holidays per year in Lithuania.
Benefits to the Employee in Lithuania
Mandatory employee benefits in Lithuania include a three-tiered pension system, maternity leave/benefits and employment insurance. Supplementary employee benefits commonly include private health insurance, retirement and flexible benefits.
Fringe benefits are not a legal requirement in Lithuania but may include:
- Private health insurance
- Car benefit
- Mobile phone
- Sport compensation
Visas and Foreign Workers
Citizens of EU Member States do not need a work permit or visa. For citizens outside the EU, there are several visa options.
A work permit and a visa is required to enter and stay in Lithuania. The visa for non-EU citizens is referred to as a national visa (D). The employer must apply for a work permit on behalf of the foreign employee. Prior to submitting the documents for work permit application, the employer should file the vacant position with the Labor Exchange of Lithuania for at least five working days.
For the work permit, the employee should provide the employer with documentation including proof of qualifications for the job (previous professional experience and education) as well as personal identification documents. Once the work permit is issued, the employee can apply for the national visa (D) with the documents, including the application form, passport, proof of sufficient funds/means of income and health insurance. Issuance of a work permit usually takes seven business days while the processing time for a national D visa is about 15 working days.
For some high-level professional qualifications, a non-EU citizen may work in Lithuania without a permit. This permission will be issued by the Migration Department under the Ministry of the Interior. However, a temporary residence permit in lieu of a national visa (D) is required.
Public Holidays in 2023
New Year’s Day
Independence Restoration Day
St. John’s Day
King Mindaugas’ Day
All Saints’ Day
All Souls’ Day
Second Day of Christmas
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