A new legislative bill No. 2352-ХІ concerning an optimization of labor relations (https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/2352-20#Text) was adopted on the 01st of July 2022. Its aim is twofold: dealing with arising war-related issues and offering a slight reform option of the Labor Code. On July 15th the bill was signed by the President of Ukraine and on July 19th it came into force. Below we provide an analysis of the changes, introduced by this law.
1. An employer is obliged to inform employees, who are working on the basis of temporary employment agreements, about permanent vacant positions, which correspond with employees’ qualifications and ensure equal rights to them to conclude permanent employment agreements.
2. Before the work begins the employer becomes obliged to inform the employee not only about rights and obligations, working conditions, place of work, but also about the duration of vacation, the procedure for terminating the employment contract, training and other issues.
3. The employee and the employer can decide what communication means they apply to notify each other, send the resolution and other documents. It is allowed to define the electronic means in the employment agreement. However, informing on dangerous and harmful working conditions shall be conducted upon a signature only.
4. The new termination grounds run into force, namely:
- if a private entrepreneur is called-up, declared as being missed or dead. Then, an employee terminates the employment agreement, notifying the Employment Center by a corresponding application. In turn, the Employment Center informs the Pension Fund and the State Tax Service.
- in case of an employee’s death/declaring as being missed.
- in case an employee is absent at work without any information about the reasons for four months.
- in case an employee is not capable of providing the employee with working conditions due to the destruction of production facilities, production means or an enterprise’s property, resulting from hostilities. For such a case a separate termination procedure is established (ten days notice instead of two months notice, etc.).
5. Drastic changes can be observed in respect to paying salaries. From now on an employer’s obligation to pay salary in case of delays lasts not more than six months. Another amendment is that an employer is not obliged to preserve the average salary of a mobilized employee.
6. The law defines the suspension procedure in more detail:
- an employer is required to issue an order;
- an employer must notify the military administration about the suspension;
- an employer must notify an employee about resumption of work in 10 days;
- an employee can appeal a suspension order to the State Labor Office;
- the State Labor Service is authorized to cancel the order/declare an order void/require elimination of violations, though upon consideration of the military administration (an employer can appeal the State Labor Service’s decision during 10 days).
7. Separate law provisions provide for an opportunity of compensation of the employees and employers’ funds, that are related to labor relations and lost as a result of armed aggression, as well as of social support to the employees who, after the suspension, are temporarily not paid salaries without having other sources of income at the same time. Apart from the aggressor state, the compensation can be provided by the funds for the recovery of Ukraine and other sources.
8. Another important amendment is that in martial law the State Labor Service continues conducting unscheduled inspections, however, only on the following matters: compliance with the law on optimization of labor relations, undeclared labor relations and lawfulness of termination of labor relations.
9. Several changes relate to the annual leave:
- An employer can limit the days of annual leave to 24 days in this year;
- An employer can refuse in giving unused days of annual leave in this year, however not later than after 12 months after the end of this year;
- salary compensation for the leaves must be paid before the leave starts, but not necessarily no later than three days in advance, as it was before;
- an employer becomes obliged to grant an unpaid leave upon an employee’s request, if the last has moved abroad or received the status of an internally displaced person. The duration of such leave, however, cannot exceed 90 calendar days.
- the time during which the employee is called-up is not included in the insurance period, which gives the right to annual leave.
10. Finally, we pay your attention to the changes in the regulation of working and resting time:
- increasing the duration of working hours to 60 hours becomes an employer’s a right, not an obligation, and applies to critical infrastructure facilities’ employees only;
- an employer has to compensate working on the weekends in twice as it was before.
Authors: Valeriia Bezpala, Partner, Аnna Nekrasova, Associate, Аnna Odynokova, Associate