August, 2022 - Iryna Shaposhnikova

During the period of martial law, the labor legislation was significantly changed twice. If the first amendments to the labor legislation ( Law of Ukraine "On the Organization of Labor Relations in the Conditions of Martial Law")  are relevant only for the period of martial law, then many of the recent amendments of the legislator ( Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Optimizing Labor Relations " )  are not limited to wartime.

The vast majority of amendments to the labor legislation are nevertheless aimed at weakening the strict regulation of labor relations and giving the parties to the labor contract more freedom. We have prepared the top 10 key innovations that the company must know about.

1. Payments to mobilized workers

Not all employers expected changes to the provision of the Labor Code of Ukraine (hereinafter - " Labor Code ") on the obligation to pay the average salary to mobilized workers until they return to work. Therefore, the following changes have occurred: starting from July 19, 2022, the employer is not obliged to keep the average earnings of mobilized employees. However, such employees still retain their position and place of work, so they cannot be fired or transferred to another position.

2. Electronic document management

Exchange of information with employees is also allowed in electronic form, including reading the employer's orders and messages. To do this, it is necessary to specify the means of communication (for example, e-mail) in the employment contract and seal the documents with an improved or qualified electronic signature. At the same time, the legislator allowed other alternative methods of information exchange to be defined in the employment contract.

3. Information before starting work

The list of information that the employer must inform the employee before starting work has been expanded from 4 to 9 points in Article 29 of the Labor Code. It includes informing the employee of his place of work, rights and obligations, duration of leave, reasons for termination of the employment contract, etc. Such notification is carried out in the manner agreed by the parties, in addition to informing about dangerous and harmful production factors that have not yet been eliminated and possible consequences of their impact on health, as well as about the right to benefits and compensation for work in such conditions, respectively, about that the employee must be familiar with the signature.

4. Fixed-term employment contract

If persons are employed at the enterprise on the basis of a fixed-term employment contract, then from now on the enterprise is obliged to inform such persons about vacancies that meet their qualifications and provide for the possibility of concluding an indefinite employment contract.

5. Grounds for terminating the employment contract

New living conditions led to the appearance of several new grounds for terminating the employment contract at the initiative of the employer. In particular, dismissal is allowed in the case of an employee's absence from work and information about the reasons for such absence for more than 4 consecutive months.

Separately, we will note another new ground - the impossibility of providing the employee with the work specified in the employment contract due to the destruction (absence) of production, organizational and technical conditions, means of production or the employer's property as a result of hostilities. Dismissal on such grounds requires payment of severance pay to the employee in the amount of the average monthly salary and is allowed with ten days' advance notice.

6. Partial unemployment benefit

Resolution of the CMU No. 702 of June 21, 2022  determines the procedure for providing assistance to employees for partial unemployment. The procedure for receiving such assistance involves direct interaction between the employer and the relevant employment center in order to receive such benefits.

The conditions for receiving partial unemployment benefits include the suspension or reduction of production, performance of work, provision of services, which affects more than 20% of employees, for the simultaneous reduction of their working hours and wages.

7. Change of essential working conditions and payment conditions

During the period of martial law, an employee's notification of a change in essential working conditions and a change in the conditions of payment of labor is allowed before the introduction of such changes. That is, the requirements of the Labor Code for two months' advance warning do not apply.

8. Suspension of the employment contract

Recently, the conditions for suspending the employment contract were also clarified. In particular, it is now clearly regulated that the reason for the suspension is the impossibility for both parties of the employment contract to fulfill the duties stipulated in the employment contract in connection with military aggression.

In addition, the suspension procedure was explained, which is formalized by an order specifying the reasons and term of the suspension, the number, categories and personal data of the relevant employees, as well as the conditions for the renewal of the employment contract.

9. Holidays

Recent changes to the legislation provide that wages to employees for the entire vacation period are paid before the vacation begins. However, this rule is not absolute, because another payment term is allowed if it is stipulated by the labor or collective agreement.

10. Disputes about wages

Finally, the legislator clearly regulated the issue of recovery of the amount of average earnings for the time of delay in the calculation. If earlier this amount had no limits, now the court can oblige the employer to pay the employee the average salary for the entire time of the delay in the calculation until the day of the actual calculation, but for no more than 6 months.

An employee may apply to court for the collection of such sums only within 3 months from the day when he learned or should have learned about the violation of his right. However, if the three-month period is missed for valid reasons, the court can renew it, provided that no more than 1 year has passed.




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