Two Drafts on ensuring transparency of AMCU activity adopted in the first reading
On 12 November 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted in the first reading the Draft Acts On Introduction of Amendments to Legislation on Protection of Economic Competition Regarding Establishing by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine of the Amount of Fines for Violation of Economic Competition of 19 March 2015, No.2431 and On Introduction of Amendments to the Protection of Economic Competition Act of Ukraine (regarding improving the efficiency of the economic concentration control system) of 25 June 2015, No.2168а, submitted by groups of MPs.
Draft Act No.2431 provides that when establishing amounts of fines for violation of economic competition, the AMCU agencies shall apply the relevant methods of calculation of the amount of fines, which are to be approved by the Committee’s order.
Draft Act No.2168а is aimed at, particularly, the increase cost parameters, in case of reaching which, a permit for economic entities concentration is required to be obtained from the Committee.
The adoption of Draft Acts 2168а and 2431 fits in with existing obligations regarding the fulfillment of the terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Understanding between Ukraine as the Borrower and the European Union as the Lender with respect to Ukraine obtaining macro-financial assistance from the European Union amounting to EUR 1.8 billion, signed on 22 May 2015.
New Labor Code passed in first reading
On 5 November 2015 the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the Draft Labor Code (LC) of Ukraine of 27 December 2014, No.1658 in the first reading. Among its major amendments are:
— Absence of labor contracts: since the entry into force all labor contracts will become fixed-term labor contracts.
— The Draft LC obliges employers to enter into written agreements with all their employees. To do this, employers are assigned a time limit of one year.
— An extended list of grounds for entering into fixed-term labor contracts is established.
— An employer acquires the right to collect information from the previous job of an employee (upon his/her written consent) when hiring him/her. At the same time, refusal to provide the written consent may not be considered grounds for denial of employment.
— The Draft Code allows temporary release of an employee from performing his/her employment duties in a number of cases (for instance, performance of state or public duties, for a time of a rightful strike or a time of discharge from work), as well as termination of employment relations with an employee as a result of unforeseen circumstances (for instance, military operations, catastrophes, natural disasters, epidemics etc.). Besides, a new ground for dismissal is established — disclosure of state secrets, commercial secrets or any other classified information.
— The layoff notice period for small businesses shall be one month. Other employers may reduce the notice period subject to the payment of a monthly salary to the employee. It is also established that an employer must lay off an employee no later than 4 months after a notice has been served. The amount of severance pay in case of layoff will depend on the duration of employment with this employer. If the duration of employment is up to 5 years, the sum of the severance pay will be equal to a month’s salary, if the duration of employment is up to 10 years — 2 months worth of salary, and if it exceeds 10 years — 3 months of salary.
— For the first time the matter of application of technical facilities to monitor the performance by employees of their employment duties (subject to notifying them thereof), is settled.
— The duration of the basic annual paid vacation is extended from 24 to 28 calendar days.
— According to the Draft, if the total number of hours worked in overtime during a year exceeds 120, the hours worked in excess of the established norm shall be paid at a triple rate. Also, such new types of work schedule as the division of a working day into parts, individual planning by employees of their working hours, flexible working hours, etc. are established.
— Limitation of actions in labor disputes is extended from 3 months to 1 year.