Comparative analysis “Employment Regulation in Lithuania and Estonia”

LFMI has carried out a comparative analysis “Employment Regulation in Lithuania and Estonia” and presented it to Lithuanian policy makers. The analysis shows that even though both Lithuania and Estonia implements the same EU and International labour organisation legislation, the labour law in Estonia is more flexible, it does not aim for over-specific regulation and the parties have more opportunities and alternatives to agree on specific labour conditions.

For example, in Estonia the employer is obliged to warn the employee 15, 30, 60 or 90 days in advance when terminating the labour contract, depending on how long the employee has been working in the company (in Lithuania the required term is 2 or 4 months), and the employee needs to warn the employer 30 days in advance (in Lithuania – 14 business days in advance). Rules on how timetables are to be set and published are not regulated centrally; individual agreements are permitted.

Estonian lawmakers also have provided for alternative ways to pay for overtime, night work and vacations. Making regulation more flexible has not brought a catastrophe in Estonia (in Lithuania we hear a lot of worries that it would). On the contrary, Estonia still remains among top 20 countries in the Index of Economic Freedom (in the 16th position, and Lithuania is 23rd), there have been no mass lay-offs and, according to the latest Eurostat data, registered unemployment in Estonia is by four percentage points lower than in Lithuania.