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Latvia: New law encouraging volunteer workers

A new law regulating unpaid volunteer work has recently been adopted in Latvia. The law as originally drafted envisaged that only non-profit entities would be allowed to organize volunteer work, ie:

1. Non-profit associations and foundations (including trade unions).

2. State and municipal institutions (and political parties).

It has now been proposed that social enterprises (for-profit businesses with a social or environmental mission) be added to the list of organisations that are permitted to employ volunteers. The change is expected to come into force on 1 January 2018. Social enterprises should bear in mind that they will not be permitted to rely solely on volunteers – at least one member of staff must receive a salary.

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