Practice Area Articles
By Dr Svitlana Kheda
Back to International Employment Law
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2021
Improved regulation of flexible working hours/remote work (teleworking)
On 30 March 2020, Article 60 of the Labour Code was amended to introduce the notions of flexible working hours and remote work (teleworking) to the Labour Code. Although these changes were caused by the Government's response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, they will remain valid in the post‑quarantine times, providing more flexibility to employers and employees in regulating the working regime issues. Further development in this area is expected.
Changes in the business trips regulation
On 13 April 2020, the Ministry of Finance issued its Order No. 155 on Approval of Changes to the Instruction on Business Trips within Ukraine and abroad. This Order, in particular, clarified that an employer shall deposit funds for business trip‑related expenses to a payment card bank account of an employee before a business trip.
Equal childcare opportunities might be introduced
A draft Law No. 3695 was introduced on 19 June 2020, proposing to supplement the Labour Code and the Law on Vacations with a new type of vacation, namely a 14‑calendar day paid leave after childbirth. If the draft Law is enacted, this vacation could be equally taken by mothers, fathers, grandfathers, and grandmothers of newly born children.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2020
Improved regulation of flexible working hours and remote work
On 30 March 2020, Article 60 of the Labour Code was amended to introduce the concepts of flexible working hours and remote work to the Labour Code. Although these changes were caused by the Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they will continue to remain in force, in order to provide more flexibility to both employers and employees.
Introduction of new ground for dismissal
On 4 March 2020, the Labour Code of Ukraine was supplemented with a new legal ground which allows an employer to dismiss an employee if the employee has a permanent, real or potential conflict of interest that cannot be resolved.
Prohibition on dismissing employees during their sick leave or vacation
The Constitutional Court of Ukraine recently adopted a decision prohibiting the dismissal of employees employed on fixed-term employment contracts during their sick leave or vacation. The Constitutional Court declared that this statutory right applies to all types of employment relations and is constitutional.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2019
Simplified procedure for Court settlements
In 2018, Ukraine launched a simplified procedure for listing the settlement of labour disputes to be heard by the Courts within 60 days. In addition, parties can represent themselves if they did not want to appoint a lawyer. Shareholders and business owners can seek compensation of damages in the commercial courts where damage has been caused by a Company Manager.
Order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
The Order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 649-p dated 5 September 2018 affects all employees and is aimed at “unshadowing of relations in the sphere of employment of the population”. As a result of this Order, the government instructed various Ukrainian state agencies to perform full audits of Ukrainian employers and to identify any undocumented employees. Such state audits may result in fines in the amount of UAH 111,690 for each identified undocumented employee.
Key case law developments
Until a new Ukrainian Labour Code is finally adopted, it is doubtful that Ukrainian employment laws will be dramatically amended in 2019. As a result, the State Labour Service and other state agencies will continue to play a significant role in the development of employment law in Ukraine, including interpreting ambiguous/contentious legal provisions. Case law will therefore still remain an important guidance for employers.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2018
Law No. 2058 on Amending Certain Laws of Ukraine to Remove Obstacles for Attracting Foreign Investments
On 27 September 2017 Law No. 2058 on Amending Certain Laws of Ukraine to Remove Obstacles for Attracting Foreign Investments came into force. This simplified the procedure for issuing working permits to foreign nationals.
Clarification on Redundancy Scenario
An important clarification on redundancy was given by the Resolution of the Judicial Chamber on Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of Ukraine dated 09 August 2017, case 6-1264цс17. According to the Resolution, if at the time of the redundancy the employer has no vacant positions compatible with the respective employee’s education and qualification, the employer is not obligated to offer him or her the other position and can make such employee redundant.
Potential New Labour Code
2018 is expected to bring a new Labour Code, which would trigger significant reforms in the labour and employment area. In addition, there seems to be a good chance for the Parliament to finally pass the long-awaited Law on Mediation, which is expected to facilitate the amicable settlement of labour disputes in Ukraine.
Procedure for Exercising the State Control for Compliance
A new procedure dated 26 April 2017 introduces additional grounds for conducting state employment laws compliance audits and extends the rights of labour inspectors. As there are significant fines for violations (up to UAH 320,000, the equivalent of approximately EUR 100,000), employers should pay close attention to ensure that their activities are in compliance with employment laws.