Law of Ukraine No. 540-IX dated 30 March 2020 ("Law") introduces significant amendments to the Labor Code and other laws regulating employment relations.
Flexible working time arrangements
From now on, the possibility to establish a flexible working time regime for the employee, both while hiring and later, is provided by law. The flexible working time regime allows employers to establish for specific employees a working regime different from the general regime defined by the internal work regulations. Such regime may provide for fixed and shift working hours (the employee determines the working periods) and breaks.
Remote work (work from home)
The Law introduces remote work — a new concept for Ukraine — and establishes its detailed regulation, in particular, equating it with the existing practice of working from home. Remote work (work from home) provides for the possibility for the employee to perform work, including by means of information and communication technologies, at any location of his/her choice outside the premises of the employer.
Remuneration for the idle time
The Law expressly stipulates that idle time during the quarantine established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine shall be considered as idle time not due to the employee's fault, and employees should be paid no less than two-thirds of their basic rate.
Partial unemployment payments
Partial unemployment payments are now also provided, inter alia, in case of forced suspension (reduction) of production and the employees' working hours due to the employer taking measures to prevent the spread of an epidemic in compliance with the relevant decision of the local administration.
Such payments are made at the request of the employer (from small and medium-sized enterprises) for all insured persons having employment relations with the employer. However, the payments will not be made if the employer has had salary payment and single social contribution arrears for a certain period.
Impact on employers
The above-mentioned amendments allow employers to improve their business efficiency by optimizing the use of the existing workforce. Employers may also receive some financial support to retain the existing qualified staff, which is important for improving client service and retaining clients.