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Business supports the liberalization of union-employer relationships

19/ 02/ 2020

Currently, labor law updates are being widely discussed across the country.  Thus, one of the propositions is to adopt a new document as a replacement for the Soviet Labor code. At the same time, the existing field-specific laws also need actualization.

Thus, for example, the effective law on trade unions was adopted as far back as in 1999. At the same time, in December 2019 the Ukrainian Parliament registered the Draft Law №2681 on separate issues regarding trade unions.

The Draft Law suggests 5 key amendments:

  • A primary trade union organization shall consist of no less than 10 members of the trade union, each company may have no more than 2 primary trade union organizations (currently, a minimum of 3 people is required to establish a trade union organization)
  • A provision for employer’s commitment to pay trade unions for cultural, sport and recreation activities is excluded (this accounts for no less than 3% of the payroll budget). Thus, sometimes this provision has resulted in the abuse of union power and with the collective agreement the sum may increase up to 3% of the payroll fund.
  • Employer commitments to trade unions will be regulated with the collective agreement (for example, a commitment for providing the premises)
  • An employer’s commitment to give written permission at the request of trade unions to get information about funds availability on corporate accounts is also excluded. In addition, an employer’s commitment providing information on the working terms and conditions, and socio-economic development of the company within one week is also excluded.
  • At the same time, an employer is obliged to provide information at the request of trade unions regarding the performance of collective agreements.

The European Business Association supports a necessity to update a regulatory framework in the context of trade unions’ activities.

Thus, it is important now to liberalize and adapt the union-employer relationships and revise the authority of trade unions because since the Soviet times trade unions in Ukraine had extrinsic functions of managing properties, inspecting commercial, pubic catering and healthcare institutions, kindergartens, dormitories, etc.

At the same time, due to the lack of time spent on the functions mentioned above, trade unions cannot always carry out properly their direct function – to protect the rights of employees.

Therefore, business supports a proposed functionality of trade unions with an emphasis on protecting the rights of employees – to inform, consult and provide effective protection of employees whose rights were violated by the employer. Moreover, trade unions shall also care about the professional development of workers and fund their studies as practiced in other developed countries according to the EBA Member Companies.

The business community thinks that the Draft Law mentioned above will foster the adaptation of trade union legislation to the current requirements, the reassurance of the principles of the rule-of-law, and better protection of employees. We hope that this year the country will obtain up-to-date labor legislation, including the law on trade unions.

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