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Employment Laws in Ukraine

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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With a rapidly growing tech talent pool, Ukraine has become a hub for international businesses in search of top-notch digital professionals. Complying with the country's employment laws not only facilitates smoother operations but also aids in maintaining employment relations, fostering employee satisfaction, and, ultimately, enhancing productivity. This includes understanding aspects such as collective agreements, determining the average salary within the Ukrainian tech industry, and navigating the collective bargaining agreement process.

Main Sources of Ukrainian Labor and Employment Law

In Ukraine, labor and employment laws have been meticulously structured to ensure a balanced ecosystem for both employers and employees, trade union members and non-unionized employees. This equilibrium is maintained through a detailed legislative framework, which encompasses several statutes and legal documents. The law of Ukraine is attentive to every employee's request and takes into consideration the specific needs of groups such as those employing ten or more employees, those experiencing temporary disability, or those considered protected employees.

The Constitution of Ukraine

Adopted at the 5th session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on behalf of Ukrainians, the Constitution of Ukraine is the fundamental and primary law of Ukraine. It is the basis at which all other legal acts and laws conform to.

Labor Code of Ukraine

The Labor Code of Ukraine is a dedicated legal document that extensively details employment laws. This code is focused on the employer-employee relationship, emphasizing elements such as contract law, wages, working hours, working conditions, vacation and leave policies, and occupational safety standards. It sets forth principles such as the national minimum wage, the rights and duties of employee representatives, and how to address employment-related complaints. It also outlines regulations regarding zero-hours contracts and mandates that all legal processes should be resolved within specified calendar days.

The Labor Code also includes provisions for overtime work with a written agreement, the employee's remuneration, and procedures for the termination of employment. The Code derives its principles from both the civil law and the law of Ukraine.

Supplementary Laws

Additional to the Labor Code and the Constitution, several other specific laws come into play. These laws often deal with an employee's request for certain conditions, require the employee's consent for particular actions, or outline the process for salary payments following termination of employment.

For example, the Law on Employment controls issues related to employment promotion, social protection against unemployment, and occupational retraining. The Law on Collective Contracts and Agreements determines the procedure for the development, conclusion, implementation, and monitoring of collective contracts and agreements. The Law on Remuneration of Labor outlines the structure and amount of remuneration for work according to its quantity and quality.

International Labor Standards

Apart from the national laws, Ukraine also upholds international labor standards as a member of the International Labor Organization. This ensures that the tech companies planning to hire tech talents from the global market comply with globally recognized principles and rights at work.

To avoid common legal troubles, it is crucial for businesses to have a thorough understanding of these sources of labor laws. The importance of compliance with Ukrainian labor laws, along with maintaining transparent employment agreements, cannot be overstated. Ultimately, being well-versed with these laws helps in creating an ethically sound and legally secure work environment for both employers and employees alike.

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Trade Unions and Their Rights in Ukraine

The presence of trade unions in Ukraine is an influential force in establishing the rights of employees and maintaining balanced relations between employers and employees. In the tech sector, where remote and flexible working patterns are prevalent, unions can play a crucial role in ensuring that workers' rights are upheld.

Role of Trade Unions

Trade unions in Ukraine are given the responsibility of acting as mediators between employers and employees, especially in instances of conflict or disagreement.

Trade unions can provide a voice for tech talent in Ukraine, ensuring that their specific needs are addressed, which is particularly relevant when considering the unique challenges associated with remote working.

Trade Unions and HR Compliance

Moreover, trade unions can help ensure HR compliance within the tech industry. Unions can assist companies in navigating complex HR compliance issues, helping them avoid costly mistakes and penalties.

Employment Contracts

Provided that the terms of the employment agreement do not contradict the law of Ukraine, employers and employees in Ukraine can agree on employment terms that are beneficial to both parties. The negotiations based on provisions such as salary, job description, employment resumption date, etc., are based on mutual and collective agreements between both parties. Such a case can be where employee representatives participate in negotiations. Except for cases regarding employment agreements with minors or employment agreements with an independent contractor, or remote-based employee, it is not compulsory for the employment agreement to be in writing.

While employment agreements are primarily and, in most cases in writing, verbal mutual agreement of terms can stand as a valid employment agreement. A collective bargaining agreement can be useful for trade union members to negotiate their working conditions.

Classifications of employment agreements in Ukraine

The average salary in Ukraine varies based on the employment duration, working conditions, and, most especially, the type of employment. All employment agreements in Ukraine can be categorized based on the following

Employment duration

Fixed-term employment agreements: Employment agreements called fixed-term can also be referred to as temporary employment agreements. Typically, the employment relationship begins after both parties agree to a termination date (usually in calendar days) of the employment agreement. Employees with a fixed-term employment agreement usually work for the organization for a period of time, after which the employer has the opportunity to renew their employment contract.

Open-ended employment agreements: This type of employment agreement is the most common form of contract in Ukraine. The employment agreement is called open-ended because there is no agreed expiration of the employment contract. The employee is obliged to work for the employer as long as both parties want, and the factors that lead to the termination of employment of an open-ended employment agreement include a mutual agreement to end the employment relationship, a breach in the employment contract by either of the parties, or death.

Employment engagement

Full-time employment agreements: Full-time employees are engaged in an employment agreement with their employers to contribute to the full working hours as mandated by the Ukrainian employment law. Their employment agreement or employment contract mandates them to the full employment benefits provision a full-time employee receives.

Part-time employment agreements: This type of employment agreement is usually adopted when hiring students or minors. The employment conditions have to comply with stipulated standard employment terms of the Ukrainian employment law.

Employment engagement can vary. For instance, some employees might work on zero-hours contracts which should be handled with extra care to ensure compliance with Ukrainian labor laws.

Critical Elements of Employment Agreements

An employment contract, as outlined in the Ukrainian Labor Code, is required to include some key elements, such as:

  • Job Description: This defines the role and responsibilities of the employee. Clear job descriptions can help avoid confusion and mitigate potential conflicts down the line.
  • Working Hours: The contract must outline the working schedule of the employee, keeping in line with Ukraine's maximum standard work week of 40 hours.
  • Wages or Salary: The contract should detail the remuneration, payment frequency, and method. It should comply with Ukraine's minimum wage laws.
  • Vacation Leave: The terms of annual leave, which in Ukraine is at least 24 calendar days per year, should be stated in the contract.
  • Termination Terms: The conditions under which the employment relationship can be terminated, including notice periods and reasons for dismissal, must be included.

To ensure a healthy and legal work relationship, it's crucial that these elements are included in any agreement between employers and employees.

Importance of Compliance in Contracting

An employment contract is a key tool in defining the employer-employee relationship, and strict adherence to its terms is required under Ukrainian law. Misclassifications or discrepancies can lead to legal and financial penalties, which can have significant repercussions for the employer.

On the other hand, a well-drafted employment contract can serve as a line of defense against potential legal troubles. For instance, defining job descriptions and duties can help prevent disputes over roles and expectations.

Adapting Employment Agreements for Tech Professionals

In the tech industry, where roles and responsibilities can be particularly fluid, it's even more important to draft comprehensive and clear employment contracts. Hiring tech talents in Ukraine or other tech hubs requires a deep understanding of industry-specific roles, skill sets, and work norms. By properly defining the terms of employment, businesses can help set the stage for a successful working relationship.

Minimum Employment Terms in Ukraine

In order to create an equitable work environment, it's important to be familiar with the minimum employment terms in Ukraine. Upholding these standards can help companies avoid potential legal issues, enhance their reputation, and contribute to a more motivated and productive workforce.

Standard Work Week

Ukrainian law stipulates that the standard work week should not exceed 40 hours, spread across five days with a maximum of eight hours per day. The additional two days are considered rest days, usually the weekend.

For tech talents working remotely or those involved in shift work, additional considerations may need to be made to ensure compliance with these requirements. Proper work schedule planning can help businesses navigate this aspect of employment law while ensuring their operations run smoothly.

Minimum Wage

The Ukrainian government annually reviews and sets the minimum wage to promote fair compensation for labor. Adherence to this guideline is not just a legal requirement, but also a way for companies to show their commitment to fair labor practices. Tech companies can benefit from familiarizing themselves with the current wage standards, especially when they are looking to expand their global hiring efforts.

Leave Policies

In a bid to balance work and life effectively, Ukraine has implemented comprehensive leave policies. These aim to protect employees' rights while enabling companies to manage work processes efficiently. Tech companies hiring in Ukraine must adhere to these policies to stay compliant and foster a positive and supportive work environment.

Annual Leave

Ukrainian employment law mandates that all employees are entitled to at least 24 calendar days of annual paid leave. This leave is generally granted after six months of continuous work, although exceptions may apply for certain categories of employees. Companies seeking to hire global tech talents should ensure their policies align with this regulation.

Sick Leave

Ukrainian law also provides for sick leave, allowing employees to recover without fear of losing their job or salary. The amount of paid sick leave is determined by the length of the employee's insured work record and the severity of the illness. Compliance with such policies is vital to avoid common legal troubles associated with mismanaging sick leave.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity leave in Ukraine is extensive, offering women 70 days of leave before childbirth and 56 (or 70 in case of complications or multiple births) days after. This leave is fully paid based on the woman's average salary.

Paternity leave, though not as extensive, is also offered. A father can take up to 14 days off following the birth of his child. Tech companies building remote or distributed teams must factor these leaves into their work schedules and policies.

Other Leaves

Ukraine's labor law also outlines a range of other leaves. These include:

  • Educational leave: For those pursuing education related to their profession.
  • Bereavement leave: In case of the death of close relatives.
  • Unpaid leave: Granted at the employer's discretion.

The diverse leave policies in Ukraine ensure employees have the opportunity to balance their professional and personal lives. Companies looking to leverage Ukraine's tech talent must stay abreast of these

Workplace Harassment and Discrimination

In the digital age, where remote work and distributed teams are the new normal, it is essential to understand and adhere to laws regarding workplace harassment and discrimination. Ukraine takes these issues seriously and has laws in place to ensure a safe and inclusive work environment for all employees, including the growing number of tech talents.

The Legal Framework Against Discrimination

The Ukrainian Constitution and Labor Code prohibit discrimination on various grounds, including, but not limited to, gender, age, nationality, race, and disability. The Equal Rights and Opportunities Law further outlines the rights of individuals and stresses the principle of equal treatment. This law extends to the tech industry, which signifies the importance of inclusive work culture in promoting diversity and avoiding any form of discrimination.

For tech companies venturing into Ukraine, adherence to these laws is crucial, not only for legal compliance but also to prevent potential HR compliance mistakes.

Addressing Workplace Harassment

Workplace harassment, in all its forms, is strongly condemned under Ukrainian law. Employers are expected to provide a safe working environment and to promptly address any complaints of harassment. For global businesses building remote or distributed teams, clear communication channels and policies should be established to report and address any instances of harassment.

Preventive Measures

Preventive measures are just as essential as responsive actions. Tech companies, whether locally based or with remote teams, should incorporate strict anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. These policies should clearly outline unacceptable behaviors and the consequences of violating these rules.

Training programs to educate employees about these policies, along with creating an open culture where employees feel comfortable reporting any violation, can go a long way in creating a healthy and inclusive work environment.

Termination of Employment

Understanding the termination of employment laws in Ukraine is fundamental to maintaining healthy employer-employee relationships and preventing potential disputes or legal troubles.

Grounds for Termination

Ukrainian labor law stipulates several grounds for the lawful termination of an employment contract. These can be initiated by either the employer or the employee. From an employer's perspective, they include but are not limited to:

  • A breach of work duties by an employee due to his/her fault.
  • Systematic failure to perform work duties without a valid reason.
  • An employee’s dishonesty or integrity-related issues.
  • A single gross violation of work duties.
  • Workforce reductions or company liquidation.

From an employee's side, valid reasons for termination might include:

  • Agreement between the employer and employee
  • Health conditions preventing the continuation of work
  • Retirement
  • Violation of work conditions by the employer

Notice Periods and Severance Pay

The Ukrainian labor law requires the employer to provide a notice to the employee two months in advance in cases of termination due to workforce reductions or company liquidation. In cases of contract termination due to unsatisfactory work performance, a one-month notice period applies.

Upon termination, employees are entitled to severance pay. The amount usually depends on the employee's salary and the length of service, but it can never be less than an average monthly salary.

Misclassification and Wrongful Termination

Understanding the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is essential to prevent any potential misclassifications, which could result in legal and financial penalties. The misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a common pitfall that can lead to significant fines and damage to the company's reputation.

Wrongful termination, that is, terminating an employee without a valid reason or without following the proper procedures, can also have severe consequences. It's crucial for companies to ensure they're complying with all the appropriate procedures to avoid common legal troubles.

Ensure Compliance in Ukraine with Skuad

Complying with Ukrainian labor law is crucial for any organization, regardless of its size. While navigating the complexities of the employment law in Ukraine presents as a challenging situation, A firm grasp of the intricate details will enable you to stay above compliance while hiring tech talent or building an exceptional remote ream in Ukraine.

Organizations planning to seamlessly navigate the complexities of the Ukrainian labor law are best suited to partnering with a global employment and payroll platform like Skuad. As an Employer of Record platform, Skuad simplifies the complex process of hiring and onboarding contractors and employees compliantly in over 160 countries, including Ukraine.

With Skuad, you can navigate the intricacies of country-specific laws and regulations with ease, minimizing the risk of legal issues and fines. Moreover, Skuad enables you to establish compliance as a core part of your corporate identity, reinforcing your reputation as a responsible employer. You can access Skuad's expertise and global insights to seamlessly incorporate the best practices of Ukrainian employment law into your operations without the usual hassles associated with international hiring.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about Skuad.

FAQs

How many vacation days do you get in Ukraine?

The number of vacation days an employee is entitled to in Ukraine is 24 calendar days. However, if the employee has been in employment for less than a year, their vacation days will the calculated as 2 vacation days for each month they have been in employment.

What is Ukraine's minimum wage?

Since its review on the 1st of January, 2023, the minimum wage in Ukraine is 6700 UAH (approximately 183 USD).

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Table of Content

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