Stricter requirements for full-time work in public administration have entered into force, as well as the private sector is strongly encouraged to work remotely. GP Nord also joins this call.
Last week, the Latvian government decided that those working in public administration, local governments and the private sector should work remotely from 16 March. This requirement will not apply to industry and other work that cannot objectively be performed remotely. Previously, the Emergency Ordinance required that work be organized as remotely as possible, but last week’s amendments further required the employer to identify those employees who may perform on-site work to ensure continuity of work.
The amendments to the order provide for additional regulation regarding state and local government institutions. In order to ensure face-to-face work, the head of a state or local government institution must provide employees with personal protective equipment that is necessary for the performance of work duties, such as mouth and nose covers. The head of the public authority must also determine the measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the work team by designating the person responsible for the implementation of these measures in the workplace and informing the employees about these measures. If the work is in a state institution on site, the head of the institution will need to ensure that there is only one employee in the office, in an open type office one person must provide at least 15 square meters of available space.
In the case of the private sector, in order to ensure that only employees who ensure the continuity of work and cannot do it remotely at their place of residence, the employer has the right to unilaterally assign the employee to work remotely during an emergency. The changes stipulate that in situations where the employee and the employer have not mutually agreed on the performance of work remotely, then the employer has the right to unilaterally assign the employee to perform work remotely. The implementation of control measures is the responsibility of employers.