April 26, 2019

Do it by Friday: on the workweek reduction trend

The Labor Code mentions only a 5-day or 6-day workweek, but this does not mean that employers cannot change the workday or workweek duration. Business, courts and even regulatory authorities - all of them understand that Ukrainian labor legislation lags far behind the real needs of society today (it satisfies neither employees nor employers).

In this situation, it is important for employers to understand which regulations are flexible and which are not. In the case of work time, the fundamental rule is: “Normal workweek may not exceed 40 hours per week” (Art. 50 of the Labor Code). At the same time, the Labor Code does not limit workday duration. There are exceptions, however: with a 6-day workweek, the duration of daily work may not exceed 7 hours (Art. 52 of the Labor Code).

The option of a 4-day workweek with a 10-hour workday is quite viable. According to Art. 9-1 of the Labor Code, employers at their own expense may introduce extra labor and social benefits for employees, in addition to those provided for by law.

As for reduced work time (4-day and 32-hour week), employers are also allowed to grant employees additional guarantees. Moreover, it is expressly stated in the law. First, there are appropriate provisions in the Labor Code (see Art. 51 and Art. 9-1 of the Labor Code). Secondly, this right is granted to employers by the Economic Code. Thus, as per Article 69 of Ukraine’s Economic Code, a company is free to establish a shorter workday and other benefits for its employees.

The best advice for those who wish to introduce such unconventional conditions - put all changes in documents. The provisions on a 4-day workweek with a 10-hour workday or reduced work time must be included either in a collective agreement concluded at the company level, or in hiring contracts with individual employees. This will help avoid the displeasure of regulatory authorities and disputes with unscrupulous employees in the future.

Published on https://indigo.co.ua/