Administrative burden reduced by amendments to the Labour Code

Labour Code amendments diminish administrative burden for business as it allows to use electronic versions of time sheets and payment slips. Sample form of the labour contract, provided by the Government, is no longer obligatory, so the employers could decide on the convenient form of the labour contract. The mentioned amendments enable employers to optimize processes of personnel administration and allow employers and employees to agree on the most convenient and optimal ways to present information. The amendments are valid since 5 June 2014, except for amendments regarding form of a time sheet which will become valid from 1 July 2014.

Amendments to the Labour Code (Law on the amendment No XII-919) provide that the sample form of the labour contract established by the Government is no longer obligatory. This amendment enables employers to choose other suitable form for the labour contract. However, the mandatory provisions shall still be included in the labour contract. 

Additionally, the amendments provide that time sheets could be used in a form approved by the employer or in a sample form of the time sheets approved by the Government. After these amendments, Lithuanian employers are allowed to use electronic time sheets, which is the way time sheets are presented in most Western European countries. 

Also, the amendments provide that information on the payments, made to the employees, could be presented in written or electronic form. 

The amendments are valid since 5 June 2014, except for amendments regarding form of a time sheet which will become valid from 1 July 2014. 

It is calculated that all the mentioned amendments to the Labour Code could diminish administrative burden for business up to 80 percent.

Interest shall be charged for the failure to timely pay the fine imposed by the Competition Council 

The amendments to the Law on Competition established interest that shall be charged for the failure to pay the fine within three months of the day the fine was imposed by the Competition Council. The interest at the rate of six percent per annum shall be calculated until the fine recovery but no longer than for 180 days.   

The Law on Competition was amended stipulating that in case a person fails to pay the fine within the period of three months from the day the fine was imposed by the Competition Council, the infringer shall be bound to pay an interest at the rate of six percent per annum. The period for which the interest is payable shall run from the day of lapse of the time limit to pay the fine until forced fine recovery but no longer than for 180 days. The relevant amendments were made in order the specific provisions of the Law on Competition are reconciled with the Civil Code provision on the interest calculated where a debtor fails to meet his monetary obligation when it falls due.

Allocation of risk in the sale-purchase agreement involving carriage

The amendments to the Civil Code that will enter into force on 13 June 2014 will introduce new provision (Article 6.359¹) regarding the allocation of risk between the parties of sale-purchase agreement if the contract involves carriage of the things. When the seller sends the goods to the buyer (consumer), the risk of accidental loss or damage to the things shall pass to the buyer from the moment when the buyer (consumer) or his authorized person accepts the things. If the things are handed over to the carrier which was chosen by the buyer (consumer) and the seller did not offer such delivery, the risk of accidental loss or damage to the things shall pass to the buyer (consumer) from the moment the things are handed over to the carrier.

New provisions on the protection of consumer rights supplement the Civil Code

New provisions on the protection of consumer rights will supplement the Civil Code from 13 June 2014. The amendments are related to the protection of consumer rights and introduce additional requirements for provision of pre-contractual information to consumers, extend a term for the consumer to withdraw from the contract, establish more stringent requirements for trading websites, delivery of goods and other. The amendments were made in order to reconcile national legislation with the requirements established in Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the consumer rights. New provisions on the protection of consumer rights will supplement the Civil Code (Law on amendments No XII-701) from 13 June 2014. The amendments were made to reconcile the Civil Code provisions with provisions of Directive 2011/83/EU on the consumer rights. The most relevant amendments are as follows: 

  1. Provision on pre-contractual information to consumers

The amendments stipulate that before the consumer is bound by a contract other than a distance sale or an off-premises sale contract, or any corresponding offer, the trader shall provide the consumer with the specific information in a clear and comprehensible manner, if that information is not already apparent from the context. The specific information mentioned above cover the following: main characteristics of goods or services, the identity of the trader, total price of goods or services inclusive taxes, duration of the contract (where applicable), etc. 

  1. A 14 day term to withdraw from the contract

Current 7 days term within which a consumer may withdraw from a distance sale contract or a contract negotiated away from business premises is now prolonged to a 14 day term. In addition, the withdrawal from the contract becomes more effective and operative - consumers may terminate the contract by providing to the seller the model withdrawal form. If the consumer is not informed about the right to withdraw from the contract, the period for the withdrawal is extended to 12 months. The withdrawal period will start from the moment the consumer receives the goods, rather than at the time of conclusion of the contract, which is currently the case. 

  1. Return of the goods

Unless the trader has offered to collect the goods himself, the consumer shall send back the goods or hand them over to the trader or to a person authorized by the trader to receive the goods, without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days from the day on which he has communicated his decision to withdraw from the contract to the trader. 

  1. Requirements for distance sale contracts

The trader shall ensure that the consumer, when placing his order, explicitly acknowledges that the order implies an obligation to pay. If placing an order entails activating a button or a similar function, the button or a similar function shall be labelled in an easily legible manner only with the words „order with obligation to pay“ or a corresponding unambiguous formulation indicating that placing the order entails the obligation to pay to the trader. If the trader has not complied with the mentioned requirement, the consumer shall not be bound by the contract or order. 

  1. Payments

The seller must obtain the express consent of the consumer to any extra payment in addition to the remuneration agreed upon for the trader’s main contractual obligation. If the consumer does not give express consent and the consumer’s consent is inferred by using default options which the consumer is required to reject in order to avoid the additional payment, the consumer shall be entitled to reimbursement of this payment. 

  1. Delivery of goods

The seller must deliver the goods to the consumer not later than 30 days from the day of the conclusion of the contract, unless agreed otherwise. If the seller fails to fulfill his obligation, the consumer shall set an additional term for delivery. If the seller fails to deliver the goods within that additional period of time, the consumer shall be entitled to terminate the contract.