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Employment law.



There are some key differences between UK and Ukrainian employment law.


UK

Ukraine

Main piece of employment legislation

Employment Rights Act 1996

The Labor Code of Ukraine

Common law or codified?

Common Law

Codified

Average working week

35-40 hours

40 hours

Statutory annual leave

28 days including bank holidays from day 1

24 days plus bank holidays

National Living Wage/Minimum Wage

£10.42 (23y/o and above)

40.46 UAH

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory minimum of £109.40 a week

First 3 days do not apply

Employer pays for first 5 days and then rest covered by Ukrainian State Social Security Fund

Paid maternity leave

Up to 39 weeks

126 days


There are three different types of employment status:

•  Employees

•  Worker

•  Self-Employed


Employees are individuals who are 'gainfully employed' under a contract of service with general earnings including salary and wages. They have the highest level of employment rights.

Workers are individuals who work under a contract of employment or any other contract (express or implied) and personally carries out work or services for an employer. They do not have the same rights as employees.

Contractors/Consultants/Freelancers provide services in exchange for payment (invoice). As they are self-employed, they do not enjoy the same rights as employees and the only legal duty employers owe them is not to discriminate.


Employees and workers have different rights.

Employees have more rights than workers do.

Here are a few examples of the different types of rights employees and workers have.


Annual leave.

Employees and workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks' (or 28 days') minimum of annual leave.  This includes bank holidays and public holidays. 

This leave is paid at the employee's or worker's usual day rate.

If you work part-time, annual leave is apportioned on a pro-rata basis.  For example, if you work 3 days a week you will have 16.8 days' annual leave.

Employers can agree to a higher rate of annual leave, for example 25 days plus bank holidays.

Any accrued annual leave i.e. annual leave you have not taken in that specific holiday year, is paid in lieu on termination.

If you do not take your annual leave within your employer's holiday year, it may be lost.  However, some companies have carry over provisions - this means you can carry over any (or some) unused  holiday days into the next holiday year.

The rules around annual leave are set out in the Working Time Regulations 1998.


Sickness.

If you are absent from work for at least 4 consecutive days, including weekends and non-working days, you are entitled to statutory sick pay ('SSP').

SSP is not payable on the first 3 days of absence.

You can receive SSP for up to 28 weeks or a series of absences - these absences cannot be more than 8 weeks apart.

SSP will stop after 3 years in the case of a series of absences.

The current rate for SSP is £109.40 per week, for up to 28 weeks.

SSP is only paid on days the employee usually works, these are known as 'qualifying days'.  For example, if you work 3 days a week and are off for 4 or more days, you will only receive SSP on the 3 days you work.

Employers can offer a higher contractual sick pay rate to employees, but this cannot be lower than the statutory minimum.


Discriminations.

You cannot discriminate against someone who has a 'protected characteristic'.  There are nine protected characteristics:

Age

Disability

Gender Reassignment

Marriage and Civil Partnership

Pregnancy and Maternity

Race

Religion or Belief

Sex

Sexual Orientation


There are four types of discrimination:

Direct Discrimination

Indirect Discrimination

Harassment

Victimisation 

Direct Discrimination:

You are treated less favourably because:

you have a protected characteristic OR

are thought to have a protected characteristic OR

associate with someone who has a protected characteristic

Indirect Discrimination:

A provision, criterion or practice is applied which disadvantages people with a protected characteristic

Harassment:

You receive unwanted conduct relating to your protected characteristic and it:

violates your dignity OR

creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive working environment

Victimisation:

Someone subjects you to a detriment and they do this because:

you performed a ‘protected act’ OR

 they believe you performed a protected act OR

they believe you may do a protected act before the detriment

A ‘protected act’ is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as:

·bringing proceedings under the EqA 2010 (either against the person now victimising or against anyone else)

·giving evidence or information in connection with any race proceedings under the EqA 2010

 

Grievances.

A grievance is where you formally raise an issue(s) to your employer.

You should try to resolve the issue(s) with your employer informally first, before submitting a formal written grievance.

There should be a grievance process in place at work for you to follow. This allows you and your employer to resolve the issue(s) in a fair way.


These are the elements needed for the process to be fair:

  • employers and employees should deal with issues promptly, including not unreasonably delaying meetings or decisions

  • employers and employees should act consistently

  • employers should carry out any necessary investigations to establish the facts

  • employees should be given the opportunity to put their case/explain their grievance before any decisions are made

  • employees should be able to be accompanied

  • employees should have the right of appeal against any formal decision made.


A typical grievance process will look like this:

Letting your employer know about the grievance

Meeting to discuss the grievance

Investigation to establish the facts 

Outcome

Chance to appeal if you're not satisfied with the outcome


Disciplinaries.

A disciplinary is where there is a misconduct or capability issue (such as poor performance).

Similar to grievances, employers should try to resolve the issue(s) with the employee informally first, before starting a formal disciplinary process.

The same rules of fairness apply to disciplinaries, with the addition of the employer informing the employee of the problem.

A typical disciplinary meeting should look like this:

The employer should establish the facts of the case

Investigation

if there is a misconduct issue, different people should carry out the investigation and disciplinary hearing

Inform the employee of the problem/meeting to discuss the problem

employee can be accompanied

Outcome

Opportunity to appeal


Ending your employment.

Methods of termination:

dismissal

resignation

redundancy

settlement agreement


Termination payments:

payment in lieu of notice

accrued holiday

pension

other benefits 


Restrictive Covenants:

non-compete

non-dealing

non-solicitation


Clauses that survive termination.


Useful sources of infortmation:

•       ACAS website: https://www.acas.org.uk/ 

•       Citizens Advice Bureau: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ 

•       Gov.uk:

•       Minimum wage rate Minimum wage rates for 2024 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

•       Overviews of workers’ rights Overviews of workers’ rights - Search - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

 

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