MIGRATION AND EMPLOYMENT IN LITHUANIA. A GUIDE FOR NATIONALS OF UKRAINE, ARRIVING IN LITHUANIA DUE TO HUMANITARIAN REASONS
On 4 March 2022, the Council of the European Union by its Decision activated the temporary protection under Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 in respect of citizens of Ukraine, arriving to the EU as a result of military aggression of Russian Federation against Ukraine. The temporary protection status allows Ukrainian nationals, fleeing from war, to get residence permit in the EU Member States without applying for refugee status and to have the rights to work, study, receive medical and social help in the territory of the EU.
The following options are available for Ukrainians arriving to Lithuania for legal stay:
- Ukrainian biometric passport allows to stay in Lithuania for 90 days.
- National visa D allows to stay in the territory of Lithuania and is issued for up to one year. It cannot be prolonged. National visa D allows its holder to work, conduct business, study in Lithuania.
- Temporary residence permit for humanitarian reasons can be issued for 1 year and can be prolonged. It gives the right to work, conduct business, study in Lithuania.
To apply for national visa D or for Temporary residence permit, Ukrainian national must visit the registration center with any personal document confirming identity. Where necessary, Lithuanian Migration Department can issue new personal identity document (temporary foreign passport).
At the moment there are five registration centers for Ukrainians in Lithuania:
- Vilnius, 3 Minties St. (Joachim Lelevel gymnasium)
- Alytus, 1B Pramones St.
- Marijampole, 9 Parko St,
- Klaipeda, 16A Paryžiaus Komunos St.
- Šiauliai, 16 Jablonskio St.
These registration centers provide shelter, food, clothes, and medical care for up to three days and then those in need placed to long term accommodation.
Ukrainians, arriving to Lithuania due to war and who has obtained temporary residence permit do not need any additional documents or permits to start working in Lithuania.
The most important matters, Ukrainian citizens should pay attention during the onboarding procedure:
- Employment contract – document, that forms the legal basis of cooperation between the employer and employee. According to Lithuanian Labor Code, each employment contract must contain the following three indispensable terms – 1) job function; 2) conditions of remuneration; 3) workplace.
- Before the employee starts his / her work, the employer is obliged to inform the employee, among other things about the employer’s full name, code and registered office address, place where the job will be performed, description of the job function, employment start and end dates, annual leave entitlement, information on remuneration, duration of working day and working week.
- According to Lithuanian legislation, the standard duration of working week is 40 hours. Overtime must be compensated in addition to the salary (i.e. the monthly or hourly salary agreed in the employment contract cannot include payment from overtime).
- The minimum duration of annual leave is 20 working days for those who work 5 days per week and 24 working days for those who work 6 days per week.
- The pregnancy and childbirth leave duration is 70 days before and 56 after the childbirth (in case of complicated childbirth or when more than one child was born). The childcare leave may be granted by choice for the period till the child reaches three years.
III COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
As of 1 January 2022, the minimum monthly salary in Lithuania is EUR 730 gross, while the minimum hourly wage amount is EUR 4,47 gross. It should be noted that the average monthly salary in Lithuania is 1666,9 EUR gross. The information about the average monthly salary in each company is considered public information and can be checked here.
Employment income in Lithuania is subject to personal income tax at the rate 20%, in case if the income does not exceed 60 average salaries per year (EUR 90,246 in 2022), and 32% if the income exceeds 60 average salaries per year.
The social security insurance tax rate is 19,5%.
It should be kept in mind, that unlike in Ukraine, the social security contribution in Lithuania is withheld from the amount of gross salary, in the same way as personal income tax. Thus, the overall deductions from the gross salary shall be approximately 39,5%.
It is also important to consider that usually job offers and employment contracts indicate gross amount of salary, i.e. – the amount before deduction of taxes and social security contributions.
Should the salary be up to EUR 1678, a part of it shall be considered as non-taxable income. In this case the non-taxable income shall be calculated according to the following formula:
NTI = 460 – 0.26*(earned monthly salary-minimum monthly salary).
Sometimes Lithuanian companies offer additional benefits to their employees, e.g.:
- Additional health insurance, allowing to receive services of private clinics;
- One-time allowances for setting up a remote workplace;
- Сovering expenses for studies, professional training, sports, etc.
In order to receive salary in Lithuania, Ukrainian national will have to open an account in a Lithuanian bank. It should be noted that opening a bank account usually involves filling in anti-money laundering and “know your client” questionnaires which may take some time. Under the legislation in force, the banks must verify certain information about their potential clients, so the bank account is not opened immediately. For this reason, it may be easierto open the account in the same bank, where the company(the employer) has the account because the employer can verify the fact that an employee is indeed employed or provide any additional information to the bank, if required. However, the employee can choose another bank as well. The most popular banks in Lithuania are Swedbank, Luminor, SEB, Danske Bank.
Usually, in order to open a bank account, it is necessary to provide a temporary residence permit, a valid passport, and an employment contract. The easier option is to open an account at electronic money institutions, such as Paysera or Revolut, that allow to open account remotely by uploading a photo of a valid ID.
IV SOCIAL SECURITY
Ukrainians, who received a temporary residence permit due humanitarian reasons, are entitled to social assistance in Lithuania, particularly to receive all child benefits (including child money, and foster care benefit for foster children), one-time accommodation support, compensation for a part of the housing rent, social benefits, and other social payments.
Every employee who works for a Lithuanian employer must be registered in the system of the State Social Security Insurance Board Fund. Where the individual works under an employment contract, it is the employer’s obligation to register the employee within in the above system.
Ukraine and Lithuania have signed the Agreement on Social Security, according to which, the social security contributions made by Ukrainian citizens during their work in Lithuania can be recognized by Ukraine and included into his / her Ukrainian pension record. For that purpose, the individual will have to submit to Ukrainian Pension Fund the Certificate issued by Lithuanian authorities, indicating the period of work and the amount of social security contributions made in Lithuania.
V MEDICAL CARE
For Ukrainians, arriving to Lithuania following the war due to humanitarian reasons
Ukrainians, who arrived in Lithuania due to humanitarian reasons are entitled to medical help in Lithuanian hospitals. During registration upon arrival Ukrainians are provided with the registration card, indicating the individual’s personal code of electronic health history (ESI). ESI code should be presented at the hospital or pharmacy to receive medical services and prescribed medicines.
For Ukrainians, who are employed with Lithuanian companies and arrived in Lithuania not due to humanitarian reasons
As it was mentioned above, according to Lithuanian legislation, the employer is obliged to register the employee with the social security record and to withhold social security contribution from the employee’s salary.
Urgent medical aid is provided from the first day of registration. However, to be entitled to non-urgent medical help in Lithuanian state hospitals, the employee must pay social security contribution for at least three months. To be entitled to social security insurance with respect to maternity leave, the social security contributions must be paid for at least twelve months.
VI USEFUL LINKS
|Migration Department of Lithuania
|Here you can find more detailed information on migration issues and procedure of obtaining documents
|State Labor Inspectorate of Lithuania
|Useful information for Ukrainians on employment matters.
|International House Vilnius
|An organization, helping Ukrainians in migration and employment-related issues.
|Charitable organization, helping Ukrainians, arriving to Lithuania with accommodation, transportation.