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Lithuania Adds Christmas Eve As Public Holiday

Source: Lietuvos Respublikos Seimas (Vilnius)
Posted: Monday, December 13, 2010
Updated: Friday, January 10, 2020


The Government of Lithuania has announced that it had finally reached an agreement with the Seimas (Lithuania's parliament) on the terms under which December 24, Christmas Eve, would become a new annual public holiday in Lithuania.

In October (2010-10-16), the Seimas had adopted in its first reading a Bill by Lithuania's Social Democratic Party, and supported by Seimas Speaker Irena Degutiene, that purported to declare December 24, Christmas Eve, as a new annual non-working public holiday in Lithuania.

This led Lithuania's Prime Minister, Andrius Kubilius, to state that he would block the adoption of Christmas Eve as a new public holiday, unless one of the current Lithuanian public holidays was canceled in compensation (2010-11-30). One of the annual public holidays considered for cancellation, initially, was the May 1st public holiday, a public holiday that had been reintroduced a decade ago (2001-04-26).

In the final compromise, none of the annual public holidays would be canceled, but an additional working Saturday would be declared every year in compensation, as is regularly done in Lithuania to compensate the annual declaration of bridge public holidays (2009-12-28).

Although the modifications to the Labour Code of Lithuania which add Christmas Eve to the list of Lithuanian public holidays will only come into effect in 2011, a one-off arrangement has been reached declaring Friday, December 24, 2010, as a one-off public holiday. Usually, such one-off holidays are compensated by declaring the previous Saturday as a regular working day. However, in the present case, due to the nearness to Saturday, December 18, of the aforementioned decision, it was decided that the Friday, December 24, 2010, one-off public holiday would be compensated by declaring Saturday, February 19, 2011, a regular working day in Lithuania.



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