Labor Relations Under The Conditions Of Martial State: Latest Legislative Changes
On July 14, 2022, during the joint online-meeting of the EBA Odesa Legal Committee and the EBA Odesa HR HUB, together with GOLAW experts, we spoke on the topic of labor relations under martial law. After all, the labor legislation of Ukraine was not adapted to the new conditions. In this regard, the legislator adopted a new Law of Ukraine “On the organization of labor relations under martial law”. Therefore, the speakers outlined in detail the main changes in the regulation of labor relations during martial law, and also voiced the current problems and challenges in the “employer-employee” relationship.
GOLAW lawyer Nataliya Matviychuk said that despite the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, the aforementioned Law does not provide for any wage reductions on the part of the employer. That is, if the employee performs work, then he must be paid a salary in accordance with the terms of the employment contract. At the same time, the Law allows the employer to postpone the payment of wages. But not any enterprise can do this, but only one that is unable to pay salaries on time as a result of hostilities. In addition, the speaker noted that a number of issues related to changes in essential working conditions, for example, issues of wages, working hours and rest time, are resolved by the employer together with the trade union.
GOLAW adviser Kateryna Tsvetkova, in turn, noted that during the martial law period, it is not necessary to use a written form of employment contract, and a trial period can be established for any categories of employees. In addition, the possibility of concluding fixed-term employment contracts has been significantly expanded. The lawyer also outlined options for establishing the “employer-employee” relationship during the war: suspension of the employment contract, laying off, establishing a remote work regime, granting leave without salary. Ms. Kateryna also spoke about the procedure for booking employees by company. The main booking criterion is the company’s provision of the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military formations, and the population. Through reservation, employees can receive a postponement of conscription for military service during mobilization for a period of up to 6 months.
Particular attention was paid to the peculiarities of release under martial law. In particular, the termination of labor relations during the war is possible on the general grounds defined by the Code of Labor Laws of Ukraine: by agreement of the parties, at the initiative of the employee, at the decision of the employer. At the same time, employers should carefully apply such a reason for dismissal as absenteeism, since the employee’s departure for his safety abroad or to other regions of Ukraine is considered a serious reason for absence from work.
In addition, the participants learned about the innovations provided by the draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Optimizing Labor Relations” No. 7251. Currently, the specified draft law has been sent to the President for signature.