Legal Committee of the Parliament of Latvia (Saeima)
on March 2, 2016 concluded its work on the amendments to the Criminal Law,
providing series of changes in the framework of criminal justice.
From April 7, 2016 in the Criminal law is in force Article 217, establishing criminal liability for violation of work remuneration provisions.
Criminal procedure and punishment in Latvia
For payment of the work remuneration what is not disclosed to the accounting records, if it is done in significant amount, penalty is imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a short-term imprisonment or forced labour, or a fine and deprivation of the right to perform certain or all kinds of commercial activities or deprivation to a particular occupation or the right to hold certain position for a period of up to three years.
Therefore criminal liability (and a possible punishment) occurs to the employer, who pays the salary for performed work in the “envelope” in significant amount – exceeding ten minimum wages.
The Saeima has also performed related amendments to the Administrative violations code, establishing administrative liability and penalty for “envelope salary” payment in the amount of up to 10 minimum wages.
Envelope salary as white collar crime
Now also law allows to punish the employer for salary payment that is not disclosed to the accounting records, by Article on tax payment evasion. However, the "envelope salary" (also called black salary) payment can be more easily proved than tax evasion. Therefore the amendments to the Criminal law will facilitate the work for law enforcement authorities and institutions. White collar crime refers to nonviolent crime that is financially motivated.