Latvia Country Facts

We provide comprehensive information regarding, Culture, Work life, Taxation, Visa’s & immigration, Labour Law, recruiting in your country of choice and employment contracts.

Global Expansion Made Easy for You

Expanding into Latvia generally comes with challenges, however, partnering with us and using Employer of Record (EOR) eliminates the frustrations you could encounter.

Latvia Visas, Work Permits and Migration

With low costs in administration, labor and tax, attractive business incentives, and a high work-life balance, Latvia is an appealing global business expansion option for foreign companies, entrepreneurs, and workers. Latvian visa and permit regulations require expert guidance as they vary according to the zones foreign nationals reside in the European Union, the European Economic Area, and outside zones are all affected by these regulation

What Types of Work Visas, and Permits for Latvia are there?

There are 3 types of Visas that one may apply for to enter Latvia:

  • Schengen Visa (Short-Stay Visa C) – Individuals who wish to enter Latvia for short-term purposes (90 days within a 6-month period) must apply for a Schengen Visa, except in cases where visa-free administration can be applied (depending on the country). A foreigner who holds a short-stay visa may travel through the Republic of Latvia or any other Schengen states, and may stay in Latvia for not more than 3 months in a 6-month period.
  • Schengen Transit Visa (A) – entitles a person to stay in the transit area of an international airport in Latvia, during a stopover or change of aircraft.
  • Long-Stay Visa (Type D): Individuals who wish to enter and stay in the country for a longer period (max. 1 year). One may also travel to other EU/EEA states with this Visa type. This visa type is necessary for those that wish to acquire work and residence permits in Latvia.

All three visas can be single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry.

Latvian Tax Laws

Latvia enjoys access to huge markets in Western Europe, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States. It is a growing hub for businesses and start-ups, and encourages social entrepreneurship, as well as sustainable social development. However, if there is one aspect that counteracts your business goals it will tax penalties but filling in wage returns and calculating the correct wage taxes can be comprehensive.

Overview of Taxes in Latvia

  • Individual Income Tax: 20-34.1% (Progressive)
  • VAT: 21%
  • Corporate Income Tax (only on capital interests): 20%
  • Employer Social Security Contributions: 34.09% (23.59 – employer; 10.5 – employee)

Latvia Individual Tax – Single, Married

Any individual earning an income must pay local taxes in Latvia, regardless of their residential status. Permanent residents are taxed on their worldwide income, whilst foreign nationals living and working in Latvia are only taxed on the income they receive in Latvia.

Individuals are subject to pay Income Tax. Income tax can be withheld by the employers and paid to the State Revenue Services monthly or paid by the individual in certain cases.

Income Tax in Latvia is progressive, depending on one’s annual income. It starts at 20%, with a maximum of 31%.

Income (EUR) Percentage

  • Up to 20,004:  20%
  • 20,004 – 62,800: 23%
  • Over 62,800: 31.4%

Besides income tax, individuals in Latvia are also subject to pay for social security, which amounts to about 11% of their income. Earnings from capital such as interest, gains and dividends and royalties are subject to income tax at 20%. Non-residents attract a fixed income tax rate of 23%.

Income Tax should be withheld from an employee’s salary and paid by employers monthly, so the individual is not obliged to file an annual tax return. If they have received income outside of employment, an individual must file an annual tax return between 1 March and 1 June of the following year.

If the annual tax return exceeds the personal income tax threshold, the due dates range from 1 April to 1 July.

Capital gains of an individual must also be reported by the 15th of the following month if they exceed EUR 1000 in a quarter. If not, the report must be submitted by the 15th of January of the following year.

Filling tax returns can be done in person at the nearest State Revenue Service office, but it is generally done online via Electronic Declaration System (EDS). For tax-filing in Latvia, it is mandatory for a taxpayer to obtain a personal identification code (PIC).

Non-residents are subject to income tax from income earned through a permanent base in Latvia, as well as other income derived in Latvia, such as:

  • Employment income.
  • Interest.
  • Income from profits, dividends, shares, etc.
  • Royalties, including copyright and auxiliary rights.
  • Rent received from real estate in Latvia.
  • Income on sales of immovable property and movable property that is subject to mandatory registration in Latvia.

Non-Latvian tax residents are required to file their personal income tax return to the tax authority monthly, by the 15th of the following month. Capital gains earned by foreign taxpayers must submit a capital gains declaration by the 15th of the following month (unless tax is deducted at the time of payment.

Latvian Entity Set Up

In Latvia, foreign subsidiary entities hold the same company standing as any other conventional company in the country and are treated as equals with domestic businesses. They enjoy independence from their parent company and are subject to all national laws of Latvia.

The registration process comes with some variation (depending on the company type), but it is generally straightforward and can be done with little difficulty. Once that is done, however, setting up a subsidiary in Latvia involves a heavy workload.

How to set up a Latvian Subsidiary

  • Decide on the company type that suits the nature of your business, your business goals and matches your own capabilities to meet establishment requirements. Common company types include: The Limited Liability Company (SIA), The Joint Stock Company (AS), a branch office, or a representative office.
  • Obtain a business address in Latvia and prepare the documents for registration.
  • Check if your business requires any additional permits or documentation.
  • Prepare the appropriate registration documents and have them translated to Latvian or English.
  • Open a local temporary bank account in Latvia and deposit the appropriate share capital.
  • Notarize and legalize the registration documents at a notary’s office.
  • Register your company and apply for a company tax number at the Enterprise Register.
  • Register for a VAT Number at the State Revenue Service (only applicable if certain criteria are met).
  • Register with State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA).
  • Receive a Tax Identification Number, a certificate of registration and a unique registration number.
  • Company registration is publicly announced by the Commercial/Enterprise Register Gazette.
  • You will also need to check requirements for permits and residencies for foreign employees.

Benefits of setting up a Subsidiary in Latvia

Latvia is a compelling destination in Baltics for subsidiary establishment and growing a business’ influence. There are also other significant benefits to establishing an entity in Latvia:

  • Subsidiaries in Latvia are taxed the same as any other resident company.
  • Subsidiary entities in Latvia also benefit from double tax treaties, in which there are significant reductions in tax payments on dividends, interests or royalties paid to the foreign country.
  • Latvia ranks high at 19th place in the Ease of Doing Business report by The World Bank (2020).
  • Latvia boasts a strong industrial sector, and offers support to the IT, energy, agricultural, creative, and green industries.
  • Latvian entities also benefit from low tax rates and workforce costs.
  • Latvia also boasts a highly educated workforce, with many being multilingual and possessing higher education certification.
  • Latvia’s infrastructure gives entities high-quality logistics options to access markets easily and affordably in Europe, Russia, and Asia.

Latvian Market

Foreign companies who wish to expand into Latvia will be met with the one of the strongest manufacturing sectors in the Baltics, a skilled and educated workforce, world-renowned competitive tax incentives, and a variety of growth incentives and collaborative opportunities for investors with the state.

However, setting up shop in an unfamiliar place comes with its own challenges. Foreign businesses must comply with employment, tax, payroll, and corporate legislation whilst ensuring that their employees are working productively and efficiently.

Starting a Business in Latvia

Latvia’s geographical position benefits from international access to diverse marketplaces in the EU, the Baltics, Russia, and Asia. With a robust infrastructure, and a dominant engineering and metalworking industry that contributes to about 80% of the total exports, and high-quality woodworking productions, this creates an attractive environment for any business owner who seeks to expand their business.

To start a business in Latvia you must go through a company registration procedure, which is straightforward and designed to be executed easily. These steps can be done online or in person – but for online registration, you will require an e-signature known as an eParaksts.

The necessary steps to start a business in Latvia include:

  • Obtaining a local business address.
  • Acquiring any additional permits or documentation for the business’ operation.
  • Opening a bank account in Latvia to deposit the appropriate share capital.
  • Preparing the appropriate registration documents and having them translated to Latvian or English.
  • Notarizing and legalizing the registration documents at a notary’s office.
  • Register your company and apply for a company tax number at the Enterprise Register.
  • Register for a VAT Number at the State Revenue Service (only applicable if certain criteria are met).
  • Register with State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA).
  • Receive a Tax Identification Number, a certificate of registration and a unique registration number.
  • Company registration is publicly announced by the Commercial/Enterprise Register Gazette.

Expanding into Latvia

Foreign companies wishing to expand into Latvia will be swept into a thriving economy with a sizable talent pool, and attractive administrative and labor costs – which is provided to all companies that enter their market. The country’s position in the Baltics offers access to trade between the West and East, as well as a formidable infrastructure and a progressive, western-oriented business environment.

Latvia boasts an abundance of natural resources and craftsmanship, which can be seen in its robust industrial sectors such as woodworking, metalworking, and technical manufacturing. However, Latvia also does well in transport and logistics, IT, energy production, food production, and creative sectors, some which are eligible to receive extra support from the state.

Whilst these industries can create opportune levels for international expansion, they can also be expanded locally to popular locations and tourist destinations such as Riga, Daugavpils, Liepāja, Jelgava, and Jūrmala.

Latvia Business Facts

  • Capital City – Riga
  • Population – 1,907,675
  • Cities – Daugavpils, Jēkabpils, Jelgava, Jūrmala, Liepāja, Rēzekne, Rīga, Valmiera, Ventspils
  • Official language(s) – Latvian
  • Economy/GDP (2020) – $33,478 million, No. 101
  • World Ranking (Ease of Doing Business) – 19th (2020)
  • Leading sectors – processed foods, processed wood products, textiles, processed metals, pharmaceuticals, railroad cars, synthetic fibers, electronics
  • Main exports – foodstuffs, wood and wood products, metals, machinery and equipment, textiles
  • Main imports – machinery and equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, fuels, vehicles
  • Main trading partners – Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Germany, Poland, UK, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands
  • Government – Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
  • Currency – Euro

Advantages and Challenges of the Latvian Market

The Latvian market has a variety of significant advantages:

  • Low labour costs: Latvia offers an internationally competitive workforce and low workforce costs. Latvia is also one of the leading European countries with regards to wage-adjusted labour productivity.
  • Competitive tax system: Latvia’s tax system has been recognized as the 3rd most competitive in the world, according to the International Tax Competitiveness Index (2019).
  • Educated workforce: Latvia is ranked 7th in the world for the number of new students enrolling for bachelor programs in STEM (“Education at a Glance”, 2019).
  • Language: English is the favoured language for doing business in Latvia, and most workers are multilingual – with knowledge of Russian, German, and other Scandinavian languages.
  • Ease of Business: Latvia is ranked 18th in the EU in public digital business services (European Commission, Digital Economy and Society Index 2020).
  • Logistics: Latvia boasts a highly developed infrastructure which grants easy and efficient access to the rest of Europe, the Baltics, Russia, and Asia in a matter of days.
  • EU Benefits: Latvia is a member of the European Union and enjoys the same trade benefits of other EU nations.

The biggest challenge facing the Latvia market currently is the effects of COVID-19, like many other nations in the EU and around the world. Other challenges include resource centralization, and low talent pools, but reforms and incentives are taking place to combat these challenges.

The 100 per cent solution is to consider the alternative to setting up a subsidiary by working with Bradford Jacobs. Our international recruitment specialists will find the perfect fit for the roles you need to fill. Then our Employer of Record (EOR) in-country consultants will handle all the complexities of Latvia’s employment laws, tax regulations and payroll, ensuring your Latvia expansion plans progress smoothly and effortlessly.

Limited Company / Subsidiary or Branch in Latvia?

A subsidiary established in Latvia is considered a legal separate entity from the parent company, with independent administration and management, providing freedom explore the local market and create international credibility.

A branch, however, does not have any independence from the parent company, but it is taxed and reported similarly to resident entities, and is limited in its commercial activities.

Latvian Contracts

In Latvia, employment contracts must be presented to employees in writing. An indefinite contract is the standard, with fixed-term contracts admitted only in certain conditions.

National legislation and the Labor Code govern employment conditions, benefits, and health and safety regulations in Latvia, and must be adhered to. However, this may according to the industry and sector, and it is best to confirm with the Labor Inspectorate on what regulation applies.

Labor law in Latvia is based on both employer and employee protection. The employment relationship and its terms are hierarchically determined by the Constitution, international treaties, the local labor law, collective bargaining and agreements, employment rules and business practices, with the individual contract being last in the order.

To be fully aware of what you can and cannot apply to your employment practices in Latvia, it is important for the employer to know the existing labor laws and employee entitlements, as well as collaborate with the appropriate local employment organizations.

Employment Contracts in Latvia

In Latvia, there are two main types of employment contracts that can used:

Open-ended employment contract – the standard type of employment contract in Latvia, which is used for indefinite employment.

Fixed-term employment contract – this contract type is used in cases of seasonal work, work where contract length must be specified, replacement of an absent employee, casual work not performed in the company, emergency work, and special industries, amongst other specific occasions.

A fixed-term contract cannot exceed 5 years.

All employee contracts, irrespective of type, should contain the following conditions:

  • the place of work
  • the employee’s specific occupation and its corresponding functions
  • the salary
  • the probation periods
  • the working hours
  • the required notice periods
  • the conditions of the collective agreement or work procedure regulations that apply to the employment relationship
  • the start date and duration of the employment relationship (for fixed-term contracts only)

Employee Benefits

Happy and satisfied employees make your business thrive and lead to even better profits. However, the specific benefits for employees in Latvia might not all be familiar to you yet. By using our PEO and EOR service we can provide compliant labour contracts for employees in Latvia including local benefits.

When expanding your company’s presence in a new country, you need to ensure compliance both in your employment contracts and benefit guarantees. These involve social security contributions, sick leave, health insurance, and unemployment, to name a few. In Latvia, benefits can be guaranteed by labour law and national legislation, as well as collective agreements with trade unions or workers’ councils.

What Compensation Laws exist in Latvia?

In Latvia, compensation laws are set by the Labor Code and national legislation, but the compensation may vary according to the sector the employees are in, regulations of applicable collective agreements, and the internal regulations of the company.

For example, the 13th month salary payment is not required, but companies may pay the salary as a yearly bonus – employee compensation and a daily allowance is also required for business trips.

There are, however, other benefits/compensation that are guaranteed by national legislation:

  • National Minimum Wage: The minimum wage was recently increased from EUR 430 (2020) to EUR 500 (2021). Employees in Latvia must receive at least this amount from their employers (but this can vary according to the position and qualifications).
  • Social Insurance Contributions: Employees in Latvia are entitled to social security benefits. Social security contributions are paid monthly to the State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA) through contributions by the employee and the employer (employee contributions are withheld by the employer).
  • The contribution percentage varies according to the employee’s pay. Social security contributions include insurance for state pensions, unemployment, accidents and occupational diseases at work, invalidity, maternity leave, sickness, and parental leave.
  • Notice Periods: Notice periods in Latvia are mandatory and vary according to the termination type.
  • Redundancy, Termination and Severance: Employees are entitled to severance pay after the probation period is passed and is granted expect in employment termination due to misconduct.
  • Termination can be of either the employee’s or the employer’s will. The standard notice is one month, but in case of the employer’s will, this depends on the grounds of dismissal.
  • Work Hours and Breaks: Average working hours is 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Daily working time is a 6-day week cannot exceed 7 hours. Breaks are between 30-60 minutes in an average workday.
  • Sick Leave: All employees in Latvia are entitled to sick leave and compensation, which is paid by both the employer and social security funds.

Social Security in Latvia

Social security contributions in Latvia are generally settled through an employee’s salary (which are withheld from an employee’s salary and paid by employer every month) as well as an employer’s own monthly contributions. An employee must contribute 10.5% of their monthly wages, whilst an employer must pay their own contributions of 23.59% of an employee’s salary.

Foreign employees who do not have a permanent residence in Latvia but remain in the country for more than 183 days in a calendar day and are employed by a non-EU/EEA company, must pay quarterly contributions at a rate of 31.83% (which could be paid by either the employer or the employee).

Social Security Contribution:

Employee: 10.5%
Employer: 23.59%
Foreign employees (non-residents): 31.83%
Statutory Employer Costs in Lithuania

The National Minimum Wage: Employee wages must at least be equal to the national minimum wage of EUR 500 per month. This wage is determined upon annually by the Tripartite Cooperation Council and the Government of Latvia.

Social Insurance: Social security contributions are made by both the employer and employee in monthly installments. These contributions guarantee employee’s health insurance, pensions, unemployment insurance, and maternity, paternity, and parental leave.

Solidarity Tax: For employees earning more than EUR 62,800 per year, employers and employees are also obligated to contribute to a solidarity tax, which is split into the same rates as social security contributions – an extra 23.59% from the employer’s side and an extra 10% from employee’s side. However, employers are entitled to reimbursement for their contributions.

Solidarity Tax Contribution:

Employee: 10.5%
Employer: 23.59%

Latvian Top Talent

Recruitment can be a tricky business, especially when a company is venturing to unfamiliar countries and exploring new markets. This is where you need a specialist to come in oversee the process for you – Bradford Jacobs’ expertise and over 20 years of experience in international recruitment services is indispensable for international expansion into Latvia.

The Recruitment Process in Latvia

A foreign company expanding into Latvia does not require the assistance of a local entity to hire their employees. It is, however, vital to your recruitment efforts to know where you can find the right talent, as well as which local and international employment organizations they can collaborate with to access the right talent pools. This, however, does not come easily – and once the right employee is found, the employer must follow thorough staffing and registration procedures. These include:

  • Registering employees with the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs for a Personal Identification Code (PIC) that will be used for all matters of payroll and compliance.
  • Registering employees with the State Revenue Service for tax payments.
  • Registering with the State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA) to pay social insurance contributions.
  • Registering employees with the National Health Service Fund in Latvia.
  • Registering employees with the State Employment Agency (NVA).
  • Creating employment contracts and translating them to Latvian.
  • Applying for employees’ employment invitations and OCMA decisions.
  • Applying for employee’s visas or special expatriation status (if applicable).
  • Calculating employees’ monthly salary and creating payslips.
  • Researching for any available tax-free allowances or benefits.
  • Submitting wage tax returns and national insurance forms.
  • Corresponding with the involved parties (organizations, trade unions, etc.).
  • Creating annual accounts, financial administration, and year-end statements.
  • Creating a payment schedule for wage tax, national and social insurances, and net wages.

Legal Checks on Employees in Latvia

Latvian law follows the EU Law Constitution, which require employers to implement equal treatment in the workplace and protect employees against discrimination based on several characteristics, such as race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, family status or membership in political or public organizations.

This law also includes background checks, which are only considered fair and legal if they relate directly to a job and are necessary for reaching a decision on recruitment. Following the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC put in place by the EU, these background checks may only be carried out with the consent of the candidate.

Nevertheless, employers recruiting in Latvia may ask for the following checks (following certain conditions):

  • Reference and educational checks: Often done in practice, to assess a candidate’s suitability regarding work performance.
  • Medical checks/examinations: Employers may ask a candidate to undergo a medical examination to assess whether their health status will affect their work performance.
  • Criminal background checks

Basic Facts on Hiring in Latvia

  • An employer’s questions during an interview are regulated and restricted by EU data legislation – they must directly relate to job specifications and requirements.
  • Terms and conditions of employment in Latvia are regulated by the Labor Code. Collective agreements may also play a vital role in work conditions, so it is best to check if your industry/sector is covered by one.
  • Latvia also has a State Labor Inspectorate, which functions to implement state supervision and management in employment relations and worker protection. It regulates how employer and employees fulfil employment contract and collective agreement obligations.
  • Employment relationships must be established in a written employment contract.
  • The standard contract type is an indefinite contract. Fixed-term contracts are only admitted in a restricted number of cases.
  • The standard length of work hours is 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week, but this can be altered according to the type of employment contract and work.
  • Employers must at least meet the minimum wage (currently at EUR 500/month), but the average monthly salary may differ according to the industry and sector.
  • Overtime work may not exceed an average of 8 hours in a seven-day period. This is calculated within the accounting period, which should not exceed 4 months. Any employee who works overtime should receive a supplement of no less than 100% of the hourly rate specified for them.
  • The length of a one-day rest within 24 hours should be no less than 12 consecutive hours, and the length of a weekly rest period within a seven-day period should be no less than 42 consecutive hours.
  • Employers are obligated to withhold and pay employees’ personal income tax and social security contributions monthly.
  • The standard notice period for employment termination is one month and must be issued in writing. Before issuing a notice, the employer must receive prior consent of the State Labour Inspectorate. However, the notice period may vary according to the contract or applicable collective agreement.
  • The standard probation period cannot be more than 3 months, but this may be specified in the employment contract.

Latvia Work Culture

To succeed in business in Latvia, it is vital to have a strong understanding of the country’s business culture. Latvian business culture is modernising and reflects ongoing changes in Western society, placing importance on both the work of management and employees. However, hierarchical business structures are still practiced in some establishments.

As a global PEO (Professional Employment Organization) it is our goal to be familiar and updated with the business culture in the country we work with and in. By sharing our knowledge about the Latvian work culture, we want to support your global expansion plans. Therefore, we will address all the aspects of the work culture in Latvia to start your expansion well-informed.

Work Culture in Latvia

Preparedness, punctuality, politeness, and commitment are very important to the development of business relationships in Latvia. Latvian businessmen place great significance on their relationships, and the local business community is treated like a ‘clan’ – being quite close-knit but reserved to outsiders. Thus, it is important to both you and your local business partners to treat business dealings with respect and great care.

There has been an increasing awareness around the world in the importance of work-life balance and flexible working times, but Latvia still places significant importance on business etiquette for the smooth operation of businesses. Here are some tips and tricks to use during your first few months:

  • Punctuality: Punctuality is important in Latvia. Local businessmen are usually punctual and will appreciate the same courtesy of their business partners or associates. If you are arriving late, it is best to inform your associates.
  • Languages: Most Latvians are multi-lingual. There are two main languages, Latvian and Russian (due to the occupation). Most people over the age of 15 are likely to also speak Russian, besides English and Latvian, as it is still taught in schools. In business, Russian is the language of choice for middle-aged professionals, whilst English is preferred if potential partners are younger or from western companies.
  • Business Relationships: Latvians are very suspicious of people they do not know. It is best to be initiate a relationship with a business partner through an introduction by a mutual third party. Once an introduction has been established, it is important to keep in frequent contact, as well as make visits to Latvia to keep the relationship going. For important issues, face-to-face discussions, visits, and calls are needed to build trust and create a long-lasting relationship.
  • Introductions/Greetings: The traditional greeting in Latvia is a quick, firm handshake with direct eye contact at the beginning and end of meetings. When introducing someone it is common to state their first name and surname wit the honorific titles “kungs” for a man, and “kundze” for a woman. Business cards are exchanged at the beginning of meetings.
  • Gift-giving: In Latvia, business partners do not expect gifts at the first meeting. However, small gifts to business associates are generally accepted. It is best to bring something small, a unique souvenir that represents your country or company.
  • Dress code: In Latvia, the dress code for meetings is formal wear – men wear suits and a tie, whilst women wear jackets and skirts, or trouser suits. Latvians like to wear expensive clothing, shoes, and accessories.
  • At the office, employees follow a less formal dress code. In smaller businesses, there is usually no formal dress codes.
  • Formality: Method of address is very formal in Latvia. Locals use company positions in their forms of address (e.g., Mr. Director), but you may address your business partner with what is written on their business card, using their company title together with their surname. Academic titles are rarely used. At the beginning of the business relationship, titles are expected – but once you are more familiar with each other, you will be asked to stop using them.
  • Meetings: Office meetings are formal affairs and tend to be short, owing to the Latvian’s communication style of being simple and direct. Preparedness is highly valued in meetings, and Latvian businessmen also prefer to do business with partners of the same status as themselves.
  • Agreements: Verbal agreements are not legally binding. Agreements, deadlines, and procedures must be set on paper and signed by both parties.
  • Socializing: It is also common practice in Latvia to have lunch and dinner meetings, but this is more for socialization than to discuss business – however, this depends on your relationship with them. Latvian businessmen may also invite you to their home, or summer house, if they are interested in developing their relationship with you.
  • Hierarchy: Latvian business structures are hierarchical – meetings normally happen with associates that are in similar stations to you, which is then followed with an invitation to meet with the higher levels if the meeting goes well. If you are in the higher levels, however, you can request to meet them (CEO to CEO, for example).
  • Communication: Latvians are controlled in their facial expressions and are not quick to smile. They are initially reserved, but warm up as they get to know you. Eye contact also signifies interest. Their verbal communication style is simple and direct, and they speak softly.

Latvian Minimum Wage

In 2021, the Tripartite Cooperation Council (which brings together the government, employers, and trade unions) announced a new national minimum wage of EUR 500 per month in 2021, which increased from EUR 430 in 2020.

Probation Periods in Latvia

In Latvia, according to the Labor Code, the probation period can be established in the employment contract. The probationary period cannot exceed 3 months.

If the probationary period ends with both parties willing to continue the employment relationship, the contract will continue to have effect with no additional actions needed.

However, if the probation period is proving unsatisfactory, the employer or employee can terminate employment with a written 3 business days’ notice, and the employee is not entitled to severance pay.

Working Hours in Latvia

In Latvia, a typical working day is 8 hours, 5 days a week. The working day starts at 8 or 8:30am and ends at about 4:30/65pm. Office hours can vary, and Friday is often a short day with people leaving at about 4pm or earlier. In some cases, the working day is extended to 6 days.

Workers in the private sector commonly stay late at work and may also work on weekends.

Daily lunch breaks shall be no less than 30 minutes.

Overtime in Latvia

Overtime work may not exceed 144 hours within a 4-week period and 200 hours within a calendar year. Overtime work is permitted if the employee and employer have agreed upon it in writing.

However, overtime work can require an employee to work overtime if it is required by urgent public need, under exceptional circumstances, and to complete unexpected work.

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