On 5th November 2015, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the new Labour Code in its first reading. This is a major step forward to adopting the newly codified Ukrainian Labour Code (The 1971 Labor Code, promulgated during the Soviet era, is still in force). However, the adoption of the Labour Code means codification and updating of the labour legislation, rather than the significant reform of the labour law.
The Labour Code contains 398 Articles.
The significant changes are as follows:
- Labour contracts have to be concluded in writing;
- the head of the representative office in Ukraine as well as the director of companies with foreign investments shall have the right to be employed without work permits;
- the reasons for dismissal by the employer are still very restricted by the Labour Code (the list of the reasons does not differ significantly from the list provided for by the current Labour Code);
- flexible working hours and out of office work (home office) are regulated;
- the minimum annual vacation shall be increased to 28 calendar days (instead of 24);
- the employer is entitled to control employee’s work using digital equipment (e.g. video camera), subject to the employee's written consent ;
- the payment of compensation in cases of layoffs will depend on the employment period and will amount to one month’s salary where persons were employed for a period of up to five years, two monthly salary in cases of employment for a period of up to ten years and three monthly salary in cases of employment for a period of more than ten years;
- in addition to reprimands and dismissals, a type of employee’s penalty known as “critical remark” will be introduced.
In general, the Labour Code adopted contains the provisions of different Ukrainian laws (e.g. Law on Vacations etc.) and is intended to codify the labour legislation.