People’s deputies also reacted to the situation – the Verkhovna Rada at an extraordinary meeting adopted the Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Emergence and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)” No. 3219, the novelties of which also affect the interests of employers.
In such circumstances, Ukrainian business is forced to work in new conditions, because every employer now faces many difficult questions: “how to protect employees from illness?”, “what actions will help minimize costs?”, “how not to lose business partners and maintain business reputation ?
What can change the company in the organization of work: we analyze possible options.
Of course, not in all areas it is possible to apply such a regime, however, there are many types of businesses for which the introduction of remote work will be appropriate.
In accordance with the amendments made to Law No. 3219 to the Labor Code, the employer has the right to instruct the employee to temporarily work at home. The head of the enterprise must formalize such labor relations by ordering the transfer of employees to a remote mode of work (work at home) in connection with quarantine.
Important: the employee must agree to work remotely and have at home all the conditions he needs to work.
In addition, such an organization of labor requires the business to establish certain aspects of management – effective communication between employees in electronic mode, monitoring the employment of employees at a distance and advising them on difficult working moments.
The new law No. 3219 aimed at combating the spread of coronavirus in Ukraine amends the Law of Ukraine “On Vacations”. In particular, it is expected that employees will be able to receive unpaid leave during the entire duration of the quarantine. Moreover, before the amendments, the possibility of obtaining such leave was limited in time – only 15 days a year. Now the time spent on vacation will not be counted in the total 15-day period.
In order to use the leave at their own expense, the employee must write an appropriate application. After reviewing the application for leave, the employer issues an order to grant leave. Given that the duration of quarantine in Ukraine is several weeks and, if necessary, can be extended or granted repeatedly during the year, such leave can be extended and introduced several times.
Important: sending an employee on forced vacation without his consent is prohibited.
CHANGING THE MODE OF OPERATION
The Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Emergence and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)” gives employers the right to change the mode of operation in the company.
This will allow establishing a limited procedure for receiving and servicing clients – individuals and legal entities in office premises and in production. In order to avoid misunderstandings, it is advisable to inform visitors in advance of changes in the work schedule on the company’s website or through another means of communication.
If the employee himself has a desire to work during quarantine, but does not have the opportunity to be at the workplace throughout the working day, then according to Art. 56 of the Labor Code, the employer may establish for such an employee a mode of work on a part-time basis.
Important: in this case, wages are paid in proportion to the hours worked or depending on the output.
SUSPENSION OF COMPANY ACTIVITIES
According to the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine survey on the impact of COVID-19 on business, the biggest threat to entrepreneurs may be reduced sales and cash flow (61%), limited customer service (52%) and the inability to continue business as usual (46% ) .
To protect against the above risks, the company may decide to temporarily stop its activities. However, this does not mean that the wages of employees can not be paid.
Important: in case of termination of activities through the implementation of security measures, article 113 of the Labor Code should be followed, according to which downtime through no fault of the employee is paid in the amount of two-thirds of the official salary.
As you can see, stopping activity does not mean “getting dry”.
Therefore, we recommend that you focus your efforts on supporting your business by:
restriction of business travel;
ensuring a remote work regime;
providing employees with up-to-date information and advice;
ensuring quarantine measures in offices and at work.