When hiring employees in Lithuania, background checks are vital but the process can be complex. You need to know what's allowed under European Union (EU) and Lithuanian rules and laws, as well as how you're obligated to handle and store your prospective employees' sensitive data.
If you're hiring employees in Lithuania, the background check process can seem intimidating. You want to do your due diligence to protect your workers and your business in Lithuania, but you also need to keep compliant with all the relevant regulations.
Here's the essential know-how on running comprehensive and legally compliant employee background checks in Lithuania.
Table of Contents
- Are you legally required to run background checks on Lithuanian employees?
- Is it legal to run background checks on Lithuanian contractors?
- What types of background checks do businesses commonly run on Lithuanian employees and contractors?
- What types of background checks are illegal in Lithuania?
- When should you conduct Lithuanian employee background checks?
- The easiest way to run a background check on a Lithuanian employee or contractor
- Background check mistakes to avoid in Lithuania
- Frequently asked questions about background checks in Lithuania
Are you legally required to run background checks on Lithuanian employees?
It isn’t mandatory to run background checks on employees in Lithuania, but Lithuanian employers can choose to do limited screening under current regulations.
Generally speaking, employers are allowed to request information about job applicants that is relevant to the position, including criminal record checks, education verification, and employment history.
Employers need to obtain informed consent from job applicants before conducting background checks. It’s the employer’s responsibility to protect the applicant’s personal information, maintain confidentiality, and use the information gathered only for legitimate purposes.
Is it legal to run background checks on Lithuanian contractors?
Yes, if you have the contractor’s consent. It’s legal to run background checks on contractors in Lithuania (with the same caveats as background checks for employees).
And you need to get it right. A background check verifies your new hire’s credentials, but it can also help you avoid onboarding a potential threat to your company.
What types of background checks do businesses commonly run on Lithuanian employees and contractors?
In Lithuania, you can conduct different types of background screening, based on a new hire's role. Here are the most common types, and a few other background checks you can consider (more on each one below).
Common background checks
Less common background checks
Credit reports (depends on role)
Personal reference check
Social media profiles
Driving records (depends on role)
Medical records (depends on role)
Criminal record (depends on role)
Here’s each type of check in more detail:
- Criminal record. A criminal records search is generally forbidden under data protection laws. There are exceptions for some jobs, such as in law enforcement.
- Employment history. You can contact the HR or payroll departments of a new hire's previous employers for employment verification. You will need their permission to contact their current employer.
- Reference check. You can contact any references provided by a new hire.
- Work authorization. You can ask for proof that a new hire is legally allowed to work in Lithuania. This may be proof of citizenship or a work visa.
- Education history. Employers can contact high schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions to request verification of education history.
- Credit reports. Credit checks are not a common type of employee background check in Lithuania. Privacy laws do not allow financial institutions to release this kind of information except in very rare cases.
- Social media profiles. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) allows an employer to check social media profiles that are relevant to the position and professional (LinkedIn). Consent is required.
- Driving records. The GDPR covers this information too. If a job requires driving, then some public records are available for this purpose.
- Medical records. The Lithuanian labor code prohibits discrimination of workers on health grounds, so these kinds of searches are very rare. However, it is mandatory for the following categories of employees to undergo medical checks upon hiring and periodically during the term of their contract:
- Employees under the age of 18.
- Employees whose workplace occupational risk assessment indicates or suggests a potential risk to their health or safety.
- Employees working night shifts and those who work on a rotational shift basis.
What types of background checks are illegal in Lithuania?
- Questions about ethnicity, sex, or age. Pre-employment screenings cannot ask about these characteristics. Further, the Lithuanian Labour Code prohibits asking for any information not related to job function.
- Background checks are limited by law. While you can ask about educational qualifications, work history, and some medical information, both the GDPR and the labor code limit this to specific job functions.
When should you conduct Lithuanian employee background checks?
In Lithuania, checks should be conducted as part of the pre-employment screening process, typically after a conditional offer of employment has been made to a job applicant. This means that an employer can only conduct a background check if the job offer is conditional upon the successful completion of the background check.
Employers should also provide written notice to the job applicant that a background check will be conducted and obtain their written consent. Much of this information will have to be deleted after the process.
The easiest way to run a background check on a Lithuanian employee or contractor
There are several different companies that offer employee screening services in Lithuania, including Rippling, HireRight, and BackCheck. The easiest by far is Rippling because background checks are directly integrated into the onboarding flow.
Just enter basic hiring info like salary and start date, and Rippling will send the offer letter and new hire paperwork—and automatically run a legally compliant background check and e-verify the results. See Rippling today.
Background check mistakes to avoid in Lithuania
- Assuming background checks in Lithuania are the same as in the US. Not all background checks are created equal. Privacy and labor laws are very different in the EU and Lithuania. You can easily find yourself violating the law and facing sanctions if you aren’t familiar with these regulations.
- Not getting employee consent. Privacy laws in the EU and Lithuania also require employers and background screeners to obtain permission from applicants in advance of the process. You must also be upfront with candidates about what data you are using to run the background check, who their personal information is being shared with, and why.
- Collecting too much data. It's important for employers to follow EU and Lithuanian privacy laws and note how they emphasize minimum data collection. This means only collecting the data that's necessary for you to have for the new hire's role.
- Not deleting data of unsuccessful candidates. Employers must delete the personal data of unsuccessful candidates when the job is filled. If the employer wants to use the data for other purposes—like keeping a resume on file for future openings—they must have written consent from the applicant.
- Skipping the background check. Conducting background checks for international hires can be a daunting task due to differing regulations and demands. As a result, you might be inclined to forego the process altogether. However, background checks are crucial for the smooth onboarding of employees and for safeguarding your organization.
Rippling makes it easy to run background checks in Lithuania.
Frequently asked questions about background checks in Lithuania
Are background checks legal in Lithuania?
Yes, limited background checks are legal in Lithuania, provided they are conducted in compliance with EU and Lithuanian privacy laws, labor laws, human rights legislation, and other applicable regulations.
Employers are allowed to request types of information from job applicants that are relevant to the job position. This includes name, date of birth, contact information (address, phone number), education, professional qualifications, and work history.
Other checks are permitted with consent, but only in specific cases, and they must be compliant with Lithuanian and EU regulations. Employers must also ensure that they do not discriminate against job applicants based on any protected grounds, such as race, gender, religion, health, or criminal history.
What language do you use for background checks in Lithuania?
Background checks in Lithuania are conducted and documented in Lithuanian. If you’re using a service provider to conduct background checks, you can use English with them.
How do privacy laws affect background checks in Lithuania?
Lithuanian privacy regulations and the EU’s privacy laws are very strict and have a significant impact on background checks. Lithuanian and EU privacy laws even extend beyond Lithuania’s borders—meaning they must be followed by global organizations hiring employees in Lithuania.
How do human rights laws affect background checks in Lithuania?
Background checks in Lithuania generally fall under EU and Lithuanian data, privacy, and labor regulations. However, if this data is used to discriminate for things like sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origin, and gender then this could fall under human rights laws. However, in Lithuania, most discrimination in the workplace is covered by the Lithuanian labor code.
Do different industries in Lithuania require different background checks?
Different types of background checks are allowed for different industries. The general rule in Lithuania is that an employer should only conduct background checks that are necessary to the new hire's role—for example, you should only conduct a driver's license check if the role requires operating a motor vehicle. Those seeking employment in civil aviation or law enforcement may undergo extra security screening.
How far back do criminal background checks go?
While rare, criminal background checks in Lithuania can go as far back as when the applicant turned 18 and became a legal adult.
What are the benefits of running background checks in Lithuania?
Background checks come with many benefits for employers, including:
- Enhanced security. Conducting background checks can aid in screening job applicants who may potentially endanger the company or its staff.
- Protection against negligent hiring. If an employee behaves inappropriately in public, the company may face accountability. To reduce this potential liability, conducting background checks can uncover past instances of misconduct and aid the company in making informed decisions during the hiring process.
- Better hiring quality. Background checks assist in identifying job candidates who present discrepancies or inconsistencies in their work or educational histories. They verify the identity of applicants and provide validation of their claimed qualifications.
- Protection from occupational fraud. By helping to identify dishonest and fraudulent job seekers, background checks serve to safeguard your company's reputation.
Onboard new hires and run background checks with Rippling
With Rippling's Talent Management System, you can seamlessly onboard new hires and set them up for success. Just enter basic hiring info like salary and start date, and Rippling does the rest—including running a legally compliant background check and e-verifying the results.
Ready to hit the ground running with every new hire? See Rippling today.
Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.