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Access to jobs for qualified teachers and representatives of other professions who do not speak Lithuanian

Date

2022 03 17

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The Government of the Republic of Lithuania has backed a proposal to waive the state language requirement for two years for foreigners who have been granted temporary protection in Lithuania and want to work in a position where knowing the Lithuanian language is normally required. This will allow teachers and representatives of other professions from Ukraine to immediately begin working.

“During this difficult time, we must create the conditions for Ukrainians who have fled the war to feel comfortable in Lithuania and enter the labour market as soon as possible. We think that two years is more than enough time to learn the state language. Teachers and representatives of other professions who do not speak Lithuanian but have the appropriate qualifications will be able to apply for a job,” says Minister of Education, Science and Sport Jurgita Šiugždinienė.

The Government approved the proposal of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport to amend the 2003 Government Resolution “On Approval of the Description of State Language Proficiency Categories and the Procedure for Their Application” to include conditions for integrating persons who are or have been granted temporary protection in Lithuania into the labour market. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport proposed that the state language proficiency categories be waived for employing foreigners who are or have been granted temporary protection in Lithuania for two years from when the temporary protection in Lithuania is granted.

Heads of state and territorial administration institutions, bodies and services, as well as civil servants and officials, heads, employees and officers of the police force, law enforcement services, and communications, transport, health and social security and other public service institutions, must know the state language according to the language proficiency categories established by the Government. The Law on the State Language gives the Government the right to establish the state language proficiency categories required for persons to hold certain positions.

At present, foreigners granted temporary protection receive limited social assistance, so the creation of working conditions is crucial.

On 4 March, the EU Council established the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine and having the effect of introducing temporary protection according to the provisions of the EU Directive on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons.

Temporary protection is an emergency mechanism that can be applied in the event of a mass influx of persons and aims to provide collective protection (i.e. without examining individual applications) to displaced persons who are unable to return to their country of origin.

This measure is meant to reduce the pressure on national asylum systems and to enable displaced persons to enjoy harmonised rights throughout the EU. These rights include the right of residence and access to the labour market, housing and medical care, as well as access to education for children.

Temporary protection is activated for an initial period of one year. This period may be automatically extended by six months (up to a maximum of one more year).

Temporary protection is available to Ukrainian nationals who resided in Ukraine on or before 24 February 2022, third-country nationals and stateless persons who benefited from international protection in Ukraine on or before 24 February 2022, and the family members thereof. Member States will apply either temporary protection or adequate protection under their national law in respect of third-country nationals who were residing in Ukraine on or before 24 February 2022 on the basis of a permanent residence permit and who are unable to return in safe and durable conditions to their country of origin.

When hiring people who do not speak the state language, employers should place them in positions where not knowing the language will not be an obstacle to doing the job properly.