Latvia plans to relax rules for guest workers

The many calls by employers to allow easier recruitment of guest workers seem to have brought some result. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Economics, a strategy for the development of human capital is to be developed, making it easier for employers to attract employees from abroad in the short term, Latvian Television reported July 31.

Employers' organizations keep stressing the critical situation in terms of access to labor. Also on Monday morning, Andris Bite, Head of Employers' Confederation (LDDK), said in the Rīta panorāma broadcast of Latvian Television that the situation is becoming more and more serious.

There is a shortage of employees, both in sectors where simple workers are needed and in those areas where a highly skilled workforce is needed.

"We are calling for a much easier opening of this market so that we as entrepreneurs can invite and bring in [workforce] more quickly and easily. At the same time, putting the responsibility for their departure home on us and terminating that period,” the head of the LDDK said.

The Economics Ministry acknowledged the problem, and as a short-term solution is prepared to ease processes so that employers can more easily temporarily bring in the necessary labor force to complete certain projects. One relief, for example, is to allow the employer to make sure that the employee has the necessary education.

"To give more responsibility to the employer, the inviter, and thus to reduce the bureaucracy.

“Well, if there are infringements, of course, we will also encourage the existing Immigration Law to introduce those rules which enable the Office of Citizenship and Migration and other responsible authorities to also penalize the dishonest ones, both employers and invitees [..],” Minister of Economics Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance) said.

The future strategy for the development of human capital, which has yet to be worked on, will still place a greater emphasis on domestic workers rather than on guest workers.

The Minister for Economics said that at present 27% of the working-age population is not economically active. Therefore, these people – local people – should be trained and involved in the labor market.

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