Disputes related to labor relations concern dismissal of employees, violation of working conditions, payment of wages. With the beginning of the Great War, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law “On the Organization of Labor Relations in the Conditions of Martial Law”. At some points, it narrows the rights of employees. After all, it defines additional grounds for terminating the employment contract, the possibility of increasing the length of working hours for employees of critical infrastructure, and the possibility of reducing vacation to 24 days a year. At the same time, this Law did not affect the already valid grounds for dismissal.
The most common reason for employees to go to court is renewal due to dismissal. In total, as of December 1, 2023, the Khmelnytskyi Court of Appeals considered 84 cases related to labor relations. There were 94 such cases in 2022, and 77 cases in 2021.
In 2022, the increase in the total number of cases related to labor relations occurred in connection with the Order of the Ministry of Health on the list of professions for which vaccination against COVID-19 is mandatory. We should remind, those who refused to be vaccinated were suspended from work without salary.
“The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court adopted the Resolution and determined the criteria for solving such cases. Was the person able to work remotely or not? Is his work related to the risk for others? In 80-90% of lawsuits, the court supported the employee’s side and satisfied the lawsuit,” says Andrii Kostenko, judge-secretary of the court chamber for consideration of civil cases of the Khmelnytskyi Court of Appeal.
Other cases involved dismissal for absenteeism and were also related to downsizing. In the event of a reduction in staff, the employee must be given two months’ notice. The employees should be offered all vacant positions at this enterprise that are suitable for the qualifications and position.
In addition, misunderstandings arise when several identical positions are eliminated in an enterprise or institution, while at the same time one employee is to remain. Then the Code of Labor Laws determines what advantages one person has over another with regard to his dismissal in case of downsizing. Work experience, marital status, age, education are important.
Another category of cases is dismissal due to absenteeism. The presence or absence of good reasons is important when making decisions. By the way, the law does not define a valid reason, so every time the court must investigate all the circumstances. Health or family status is usually recognized as such a reason. Extraordinary circumstances, when a person could not come to work, because, for example, the village was covered with snow, can also be considered a valid reason. In wartime, such a reason can be hostilities in the occupied territories.