18 June 2020
In the past, the Ukrainian labor legislation created many organizational barriers for employers. In particular, outdated regulation regarding working hours or the definition of the workplace as almost the only opportunity to perform the job responsibilities could be seen as being obstacles. These obstacles were made obvious primarily in connection with hiring young professionals who combine work with study, as well as researchers who can also combine research with work “in business”.
Due to recent changes in the global work/life environment and in order to reduce some of the organizational obstacles and risks for employers, the Parliament of Ukraine decided to amend current labor legislation by the Law of Ukraine No 2375. These changes resulted in the establishment of the flexible working time (hours) and remote (home) work.
According to the new amendments of the Code of Labor Laws, flexible working time is a new form of work organization allowing to establish a mode of work that is different from the one defined by the rules of the internal work schedule, subject to compliance with the established daily / weekly length of working time.
A flexible working time model may be established based on mutual agreement (for a fixed term or indefinitely, as well as both directly upon hiring or at a later stage). However, in case of a threat of an epidemic or pandemic spread (as well as in case of a threat of military, technogenic, or natural origin) the terms regarding remote (home) work and flexible working time may be imposed by the employer without the obligatory conclusion of a written agreement or an amendment to the valid agreement. In addition, should a production or technical necessity arise and / or should the necessity for performing urgent or unforeseen tasks arise, the employer can impose the generally established working time to employees affected. Based on the ground for the introduction of the changes in the working schedule, the procedure for such introduction has to be performed in different timelines (period of mandatory notification of the employee on the proposed changes).
The flexible working time provision may introduce a fixed time within which the employee must be present at the workplace and perform his / her duties (this may include splitting the working day into parts) or a variable time during which the employee, at his own discretion, determines the periods of work within the established standard of working time.; Breaks for rest & meals must be part of this model. The flexible working model does not affect the scope of labor rights of employees.
Remote (home) work added to the Labor Code
According to the above, remote (home) work is a valid form of labor organization, if the work is performed at the employee’s place of residence or another place of his or her choice, including by means of informational and communicational technologies, but only outside the employer's premises.
In case of remote (home) work, employees allocate working time at their own discretion; this is not subject to internal labor regulations (unless otherwise provided in the employment agreement). However, the total working time may not exceed the general norms.
Performing remote (home) work does not entail any restrictions on the scope of employees’ labor rights. Therefore, unless the employee and the employer have agreed otherwise in written form, the remote (home) work provides for full wage payment within the timeframe specified in the current employment contract.
Recent amendments to the legislation have made the regulation of working time more lenient. This will allow both the employer and the employees to improve their arrangements in this area. It will also make it easier to hire young professionals, students and researchers.
by multiple authors