Ukraine limits labour market for foreigners

16:47, 14 April 2009
Ukraine
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Especially foreign managers

The Ukrainian government has introduced severe limitations on the accessibility to the country’s labour market for foreigners – especially as concerns foreign managers, Polskie Radio reported.

 “This is a huge slap in the face for Polish investments. Without Polish managers, controlling investments in the country will become practically impossible,” stated Marian Przezdziecki, Deputy Head of the International Society of Polish Companies in the Ukraine (MSPPU).

 The legislative changes, going into effect in May, are meant to increase the number of spaces on the labour market for Ukrainians, claims Ludmil Denisova, the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of Ukraine.

 According to the decision made by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoszenko’s government, on May 1, the number of required documents for obtaining a work permit in Ukraine will be greatly increased. Not only will an employer need to prove the necessity of hiring a foreigner, but the employee will have to provide notarized copies of educational and professional documents as well as sworn statements proving that one holds no debts or a criminal record.

 The Ukrainian daily Kommiersant-Ukraina highlights the fact that the most important changes in the regulations affect managers and directors claiming that current regulations allow foreigners to have work permits for as long as the contract requires. The changes will limit work permits to a three year period for managerial positions and one year for lower-level positions.

 Violating the new regulations will incur heavy fines – current law dictates a fine of about 100 USD, but new regulations increase the number to 1500 USD.

 Polish Labour Minister Denisova added that, according to new regulations, foreign workers found to violate the laws will be deported from the country at the cost of their employer.

 “Whoever thought up this law does not know exactly what they are doing. No foreign company working in the Ukraine will hire anyone to high-level positions that does not have the proper experience or high-tech knowledge necessary in, for example, our firm. And finding such people [in the Ukraine] is a problem,” stated Zyslaw Krowiak, financial director of Cersanit, the Polish manufacturer of sanitary facilities that recently opened a factory in the country.

There are currently about 400 Polish companies located in the Ukraine with about 700 million USD invested in the country at the end of 2008.

Polskie Radio

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