Russian language requirement might be banned from job ads in Latvia

It is planned that Latvian employers will not be able to request mandatory knowledge of the Russian language, except for certain professions, as provided for by amendments to the Labor Law supported by the Saeima at first reading on Thursday, December 14.

For the changes to take effect, the amendments need to be supported in two more readings.

The bill was drafted by deputies of the National Alliance.

It is planned that the amendments will defend the right of employees to use the official language during the performance of work duties and not to be discriminated against with unjustified requirements for knowledge of the Russian language.

The draft law provides for ensuring that, as a Member State of the European Union, employees cannot be required to have Russian language knowledge, except for certain professions, noted the authors of the draft law, referring also to the current discrimination in the labor market against young people who do not have enough Russian language knowledge.

The amendments provide that the indication of proficiency in Russian is permissible in the following occupational groups:

  • academic staff of universities and other higher education institutions;
  • librarians, archivists and senior specialists in related professions;
  • writers, journalists, and linguists.

The draft law intends to stipulate that the Russian language will not be able to be requested in advertisements, job interviews, employment contracts or during the performance of work duties, except in the professions specified in the abovementioned specific professions.

For amendments to come into force, the Saeima must support them in two more readings.

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