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Latvia is one of the three Baltic states, along with Estonia, its neighbor to the north, and Lithuania, its neighbor to the south. Russia and Belarus are to Latvia’s east, and the Baltic Sea is to its west. Latvia is a former Soviet republic which became independent in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved. It joined the European Union in 2004 and has used the euro as its currency since 2014. Latvia is a heavily forested and fertile land which produces timber and wood products, as well as high-quality agricultural products including grain, dairy products, and honey. Latvia’s location makes it an important transit point between East and West, and the country’s transportation network is well developed. IT and technology are also major industries. The capital, Riga, is home to dozens of tech startups.

Employment contracts in Latvia must be in writing and both the employer and employee must receive a copy. The employment contract must identify:

  • the starting date of the employment relationship and its duration if it is for a fixed time,

  • the workplace,

  • the employee’s specific occupation,

  • probation period (if any),

  • salary details,

  • working hours,

  • annual leave,

  • termination notice period,

  • the collective agreement or regulations that apply to the employment relationship,

  • the employee's rights to employer-provided training, and

  • information about social security contributions.

A fixed-term contract may not be longer than five years. If the contract expires but neither party has requested to terminate it, it will be considered an indefinite-term contract.

The standard workweek in Latvia is 40 hours with eight hours per day over five days. The workweek is capped at 40 hours unless the employees’ union agreed to a longer workweek. If the workweek is six days, the workday may not be more than seven hours. In general, employees over age 18 may work overtime if they have agreed to do so in writing.

Employers may require overtime without employee consent in emergencies or when there is an urgent business need. In most cases, an employee who works overtime must be paid at least double the normal hourly or daily rate. Total working time, including overtime, is capped at 48 hours per week. Latvia also has special rules regulating night work, which is any period of work lasting more than two hours performed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The first 10 days of sick leave in Latvia is paid by the employer. Beginning on the eleventh day, the employee is eligible to receive a government sickness benefit.

Female employees receive a total of 112 days of maternity leave in Latvia. In the event of birth complications or other medical issues either before, during, or after the birth, the mother is entitled to an additional 14 days of supplementary medical leave. A father is entitled to 10 days of paternity leave, which must be used within two months of the child’s birth.

Employees are entitled to a monthly minimum wage in Latvia. Bonuses in Latvia are at the employer’s discretion, but they are common and are typically paid once a year.

Employees receive at least four weeks of paid annual leave in Latvia. Leave is granted at a specified time according to a schedule created by the employer after consulting with employee representatives. The employer is obligated to consider the employees’ requests as much as possible. Employees under 18 receive one month of annual leave.

Some employees are entitled to supplemental paid days off in addition to the four weeks of leave:

  • jobs involving special dangers or risks - three additional days,

  • caring for three or more children under 16 or for a disabled child under 18 at home - three additional days, and

  • caring for fewer than three children under the age of 14 - one additional day.

In Latvia, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Good Friday

  • Easter Monday

  • Labor Day

  • Independence Day

  • Midsummer Eve

  • Last Day of the Song and Dance Festival

  • Proclamation of the Republic Day

  • Christmas Eve

  • Christmas Day

  • Second Day of Christmas

  • New Year’s Eve

National healthcare In Latvia is funded by contributions to National Social Insurance.

The notice period for termination in Latvia depends on the reason for termination, ranging from no advance notice to one month’s notice. An employee can terminate an employment contract with one month’s written notice.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Latvia can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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