Quarantine: organization of employees’s work in accordance with the labour legislation of Ukraine
March 24, 2020
According to the Article 29 of the Law of Ukraine "On protection of the population against infectious diseases", to prevent the spread in Ukraine of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, taking into account the decision of the State Commission on Technogenic and Environmental Safety of March 10, 2020 by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from March 12, 2020 to April 3, 2020, a quarantine was established throughout Ukraine.
In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, to preserve the life, health and safety of workers and other members of the public, in case of primary illness employers are advised to immediately send those workers to a health care facility for an appropriate diagnosis.
In order to implement the measures provided for by the law in case of quarantine, employers are obliged to take all possible measures.
Options for such measures:
- providing employees with annual basic and additional leaves or other paid leaves provided by law;
- granting unpaid leaves at the request of employees;
- establishing part-time or shorter working hours for employees;
- establishing shift work;
- introduction of temporary remote work or work at home;
- introduction of downtime;
- continuation of work on the condition of use of personal and collective protection;
- assistance for temporary disabled people.
Providing employees with annual basic and additional leave or other unpaid leaves provided by law
If the employee has unused annual leave days, at his/her request (on the basis of a personal application) and with the consent of the employer, annual basic or additional leave may be granted, as well as other paid leave provided for by law (leave for employees who have minor children or children of legal age – a person with a disability since childhood of subgroup A of group I, additional leave to certain categories of citizens and victims of the Revolution of Dignity, etc.).
Granting unpaid leaves at the request of employees
Pursuant to the Article 84 of the Labor Code of Ukraine, for family and other reasons, an employee may be granted unpaid leave for a period stated in the agreement between the employee and the employer or his competent authority, but no more than 15 calendar days per year.
Moreover, being on an unpaid leave during quarantined is not included in the general term and may last for the entire duration of the quarantine.
These leaves are provided to employees solely on the basis of their personal application. Providing employees with unpaid leave at the sole initiative of the employer does not result from labor law.
Establishing part-time or shorter working hours for employees
The Article 56 of the Labor Code of Ukraine provides for that by agreement between the employee and the employer or his competent authority, he/she may establish reduced working day or week both upon hiring and over time.
In these cases, remuneration is paid in proportion to the time worked or depending on how productive the work is.
Part-time work does not entail any restrictions on the scope of workers' labor rights.
Under Article 51 of the Labor Code of Ukraine, reduced working hours may be established at the expense of own resources at enterprises and organizations for women who have children under the age of fourteen or a child with disabilities.
The introduction of part-time work under the Article 32 of the Labor Code of Ukraine is a change in the essential working conditions and accordingly, its introduction requires early warning of employees for at least two months in advance.
However, if part-time work is established at the request of the employee (based on the application submitted), a two-month employee's warning is not required and part-time work may be established any time.
Establishing shift work
Also, at the request of employees, with the possibility of production processes and with the consent of the employer, work may be changed in a way that is different from the usual mode of work.
As in the previous case, payment is made for the actually completed work (time worked).
Introduction of remote work or work at home
Not all categories of employees have an opportunity work remotely or at home.
The issue of remote work or work at home is almost unresolved by current law.
The Regulations on Working Conditions of at Home Workers, approved by the Decree of the State Committee for Labor Law No. 275 / 17-99 of 29.09.1981, provides for that the workplace of an employee is determined not in the industrial, office or administrative premises of the employer, but at the place of living of the employee (other place at the employee's choice) at based on his personal application, for example, for the period of quarantine.
In this mode of work, the employee is required to perform work assigned by the employer throughout the entire working time and to be under the control of the employer with the use of modern technologies (telephone, Internet, other means of communication).
Introduction of downtime
If the implementation of aforesaid solutions is impossible, the employer may introduce downtime. Downtime is a cessation of work caused by the absence of organizational or technical conditions necessary for the execution of the work; by unavoidable force or other conditions.
The downtime through no fault of the employee is paid at the rate of not less than two thirds of the base salary set by employer (category).
The introduction of downtime does not require the consent of the employee. This issue is resolved by the employer by agreement (if there is any) with the union or a representative of the labor community.
The use of means of personal and collective protection
If, however, all of the aforementioned options for quarantine work are not appropriate, there is still an option to continue work with provision of means of personal and collective protection.
In this case, the employer has to provide workers with means of personal protection, detergents and decontamination medicines, antiseptic and disinfectants free of charge, and inform workers about the preventive measures posted on the official website of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (https://moz.gov.ua/koronavirus/koronavi 2019-ncov), provide workers with maximum safe transportation delivery of workers to and from the place of work, etc.
Assistance for temporary disabled people
For the period of stay in specialized health care facilities, as well as in conditions of self-isolation under medical supervision with regard to the measures aimed at preventing the emergence and spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as well as localization and elimination of its outbreaks and epidemics, the insured persons are provided with temporary disability assistance.
If temporary disability insufficiency of the insured person is caused by quarantine imposed by authorities of the sanitary and epidemiological, temporary disability assistance is provided from the first day for all time of absence at work for this reason.
In this case, the Social Insurance Fund will compensate for 50% of earnings based on the employee's necessary temporary disability certificate list.
Please, note that according to the Criminal Code of Ukraine for the unlawful dismissal of an employee, as well as other gross violations of labor law, there is a fine of 2000 to 3000 MTFI (34 000 UAH – 51 000 UAH) or deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or occupy certain activity up to three years, or correctional work up to two years (part 1 of Art.172 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
The same actions taken anew, or against a minor, pregnant woman, single father, mother or a person who replaces them and brings up a child under 14 years or a disabled child there is a fine from 3000 to 5000 MTFI (51 000 UAH – 85 000 UAH.) or deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities for a term up to five years, or correctional work for a term up to two years, or arrest for a term up to six months (Part 2 of the Article 172 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
Unjustified non-payment of wages for more than one month shall be punished with a fine from 500 to 1000 MTFI (8 500 UAH – 17 000 UAH) or correctional labor for a term up to two years, or imprisonment for a term up to two years, with deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or to hold certain activity for up to three years (part 1 of the Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
The same act if it was committed as a result of misuse of funds intended for payment of wages shall be punished with a fine of 1000 to 1500 MTFI (17,000 UAH – 25,500 UAH) or restraint of liberty for a term up to three years, or imprisonment for a term up to five years with deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to three years (part 2 of the Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
In accordance with the Administrative Code, for violation of the established terms of salary payments, payment of its full amount, as well as other violations of the requirements of the labor law are subject to a fine of 30 to 100 MTFI (510 UAH – 1 700 UAH) – personally the director and personally the chief accountant of the company (part 1 of the Act. 41 of Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses).
Repeated within the year of committing, the violation provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article, for which the person has already been brought to administrative punishment, or the same acts committed against a minor, pregnant woman, single father, mother or a person who replaces them and has a child under 14 years or disabled child is fined with amount from 100 to 200 MTFI (1 700 UAH – 3 400 UAH) – personally the director and personally the chief accountant of the company (part 2 of the Article 41 of the Code of Administrative Offenses).
According to the Article 265 of the Labor Code of Ukraine for non-compliance with the minimum state guarantees in remuneration, there is a fine of twice the minimum wage established by the law at the time of detection of a violation is provided for each employee for whom the violation has been committed (from 9 446 UAH).