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Ukraine Introduces Regulation for Zero Hours Employment Agreements

As part of the Parliament of Ukraine's initiative to reform the legislative framework and bring labour relations in Ukraine in line with internationally recognised practices, on 18 July 2022 the Parliament adopted the Law “On Amendment of Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Regulation of Non-Standard Forms of Employment” (the “Law”), which applies to freelance employment. The Law is currently awaiting promulgation.

For the first time, the Law introduces in Ukraine the equivalent of a ‘zero hours contract’ to be called in the local language as an ‘agreement with non-fixed working hours’.

The main features of this special form of employment include:

  • An employee is paid only for the work actually provided by the employer, except for 32 hours per month (statutory minimum), which must be paid irrespective of whether any work was performed;
  • Parties shall enter into a written agreement of employment which, among others, shall specify (i) the basic working days/hours and (ii) the minimum notice period to be given by an employer to an employee of upcoming work and the maximum response time due from an employee in such case;
  • An employee’s unjustified refusal to perform work when requested by employer (subject to agreed notice periods and basic working days/hours) can trigger disciplinary sanctions;
  • The statutory maximum of 40 working hours and six working days per week will apply (work outside these limits will be treated and compensated as overtime);
  • The parties can agree upon additional grounds for termination, but they must be related to an employee’s skills or actions, or reasons of economic, structural or similar nature.

An overall number of agreements with non-fixed working hours cannot exceed 10% of a total number of employment agreements concluded by a given company.

After working for at least 12 months under an agreement with non-fixed working hours, an employee can request an employer to conclude a regular employment agreement with him/her and if the employer refuses to do so, the employer must provide justified reasons for such refusal.

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