If you are looking for new members for your remote team, Lithuania should definitely be on your list of potential markets to go talent hunting! Here’s why: Not only is there a large pool of highly skilled workers but due to the low employment costs, this talent is also available at very competitive rates.
What’s more, Lithuania comes fourth in the ranking of the EU countries with the highest share of young workers holding a degree. As around 85% of the country’s young professionals are proficient in English, communication to ensure a smooth workflow will definitely not be a problem.
Employment contracts in Lithuania must be in writing, correspond to the formal requirements stipulated by Lithuanian labour law and include at least the following basic terms of employment:
- Identification of both parties
- Date of commencement (and employment duration for temporary contracts)
- Job description, duties and responsibilities
- Basic salary as well as other compensation or benefits
- Working hours
- Total number of holidays
- Notice periods for employment termination
Employees can be hired either on the basis of a permanent or a fixed-term contract. The latter cannot be concluded for a period exceeding five years. It is advisable to draft the employment contract in Lithuanian.
Employees and employers can agree on a probationary period which must not be longer than three months.
Working Hours and Breaks
Employees in Lithuania usually work 40 hours per week, i.e. five eight-hour days. After five hours of consecutive work, employees should have a rest break of at least 30 minutes – but not longer than two hours.
With regard to daily and weekly rest periods, the following regulations apply:
- weekly rest periods should not be shorter than 35 consecutive hours – usually Saturdays and Sundays are non-working days
- daily rest periods should not be shorter than eleven consecutive hours
Unless certain special conditions are met, overtime work is only permissive upon the employee’s consent and should not exceed eight hours within one single week, bringing the maximum weekly working time to a total of 48 hours.
Furthermore, employees are not allowed to work overtime for more than 180 hours per year. Overtime work on normal working days must be remunerated at a rate of 150% of usual wages – 200% on rest days and 250% on public holidays.
It is possible to pay employees in Lithuania either once or twice a month.
The national minimum wage in Lithuania is currently (as of 2021) set at EUR 642 per month, i.e. EUR 7,704 per year.
Employees who are unable to work because of sickness or injury are entitled to sick pay. The employer is obligated to cover sick pay during the first two days of sick leave at a rate of at least 80% of the employee’s normal salary.
From the third day onwards, sick pay is provided by the Social Insurance Fund. Sick leave is limited to 120 consecutive days – or a total of 140 days within one calendar year. After this period, employers may terminate the employment.
Although there are no legal provisions for a 13th salary, it is quite common for employers to offer performance-based bonuses.
Taxes and Social Security Contribution
Employees and employers in Lithuania are subject to the following tax and social security contribution rates (as of 2021):
0% – 15% corporate tax rate
21% VAT (standard rate)
Individual income tax rates:
up to EUR 81,162: 20%; additional 32% on income exceeding EUR 81,162
1.77% to 3.03% of employee’s gross salary including:
1.45% to 2.71% to general social security
0.16% to Lithuanian Guarantee Fund
0.16% to Long-term Employment Benefit Fund
generally 19.5% of employee’s gross salary – rates may vary depending on the employee’s position – including:
8.72% to pension scheme
2.09% to sickness insurance fund
1.71% to maternity fund
6.98% to health insurance
Optional additional contribution of 2.4% – 3% to pension fund
Employers must grant their employees no less than 20 calendar days of paid leave per year – 24 days for employees with a six-day week. In addition, the country observes twelve public holidays where employees are not required to work.
Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave
Pregnant employees have the right to 126 calendar days of maternity leave which is split into 70 days before and 56 days after birth – twice 70 days in case of multiple births. Maternity benefits are paid by the Social Insurance Fund based on the employee’s usual wages.
Fathers can take paternity leave for the whole first month after their child’s birth. Benefits are also paid by the Social Insurance Fund.
In addition to maternity and paternity leave, mothers and fathers can take parental leave until their child reaches the age of three. However, they only receive benefits from the Social Insurance Fund until the child’s first birthday – until the child’s second birthday if the parent agrees to reduce parental benefits to 70% during the first and 40% during the second year.
Additional Leave and Benefits
Up to three days of study leave for employees who have to prepare for exams.
In addition to employment termination by default – i.e. in case of a fixed-term contract – resignation and mutual agreement, Lithuanian labour law establishes the following grounds for termination (non-exhaustive list):
- redundancy or other reasons involving the business’ situation
- summary dismissal due to gross misconduct
- breach of employment contract
- employee’s underperformance
- employee’s incapability
- employee’s long-term illness
The 2017 revision of Lithuania’s Labour Code saw a reduction of the statutory notice periods which are now set as follows:
- three days during the employee’s probation period
- two weeks if the employee’s length of service is less than one year
- one month if the employee’s length of service exceeds one year
Statutory notice periods are twice as long if the dismissed employee is close to retirement – i.e. less than five years until he or she reaches retirement age – and three times as long for an employee who has a child under 14.
Severance payment is required if the employment is terminated due to any reason apart from the employee’s behaviour. However, payment rates have also been reduced by the 2017 Labour Code revision and are now defined as follows:
- two months’ wages for employees with a length of service exceeding one year
- half a month’s wages for employees whose length of service is shorter than one year – excluding the employee’s probation period where no severance pay is required
Legislation stipulates additional payment in order to value an employee’s long-term service. Employers can also opt for a short-notice dismissal – requiring only three days of notice – by offering increased severance pay equal to six months’ wages.
Hiring in Lithuania?
Not sure if you should start with a contractor or go ahead and hire a full-time teammate in Lithuania? The Lano platform makes it easy to go from freelance to full-time employee. Get expert guidance from the Lano team to compare your options and keep growing.