From 9 May 2021, fathers as well as other relatives of a newborn baby have been eligible for 14 days of paid leave on a one-off basis (childbirth leave). The implementation procedure was approved by the government on 7 July 2021 and has been in effect since 10 July 2021.(1) Prior to this, new fathers were only eligible for unpaid leave and only subject to being party to a registered marriage with the baby's mother. Other relatives were not eligible for such leave.
According to the new regulations, childbirth leave can be requested by one of the following persons:
- the baby's father who is in a registered marriage with the baby's mother;
- the baby's father who is not in a registered marriage with the baby's mother, if they live together, are connected by common housekeeping expenses and have mutual rights and duties towards one another;
- a grandparent or an adult (defined as 18 years and over) sibling of the baby, who takes care of the baby, provided that the baby is raised by a single parent.
The following rules are applicable to childbirth leave:
- childbirth leave is provided on demand (ie, a written request) by the eligible person (accordingly, if the leave is not requested, the employer will not be obliged to provide it);
- the childbirth leave request must be supported by the baby's birth certificate and other relevant documentation proving the person's eligibility for the leave (eg, the marriage certificate where the leave is requested by an official husband, or a residence registration certificate where the leave is requested by a de-facto husband);
- the maximum duration is 14 calendar days net of public holidays which includes weekly days off and is not affected by the number of babies born from one pregnancy;
- the exact duration (within the maximum threshold indicated above) must be specified in the employee's written request to the employer;
- childbirth leave may not be divided into separate periods;
- childbirth leave may not be substituted by a compensation, either in whole or in part; and
- once requested, childbirth leave must be granted to the employee no later than three months following the birth and must be used by the employee no later than by the 104th day following the birth (accordingly, if the request for childbirth leave arrives later than within three months following the birth, the employer will not be obliged to provide it).
Childbirth leave is provided independently of and in addition to:
- maternity leave guaranteed to the baby's mother (126-180 calendar days; paid by the relevant social security fund, not by the employer);
- childcare leave guaranteed to one of the baby's parents or other relatives (until the child's third birthday; paid by the relevant social security fund, not the employer); and
- non-paid paternity leave for the baby's father who is in a registered marriage with the baby's mother (up to 14 calendar days).
For further information on this topic please contact Aleksandra Yevstafyeva or Olga Podobiedova at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners by telephone (+380 44 498 8282) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners website can be accessed at www.epam.ru/en.
(1) Law 1401-IX dated 15 April 15 2021, entitled: "On amendment of certain legislative acts of Ukraine aimed at procurement of mother's and father's equal childcare opportunities" and approved by Regulation 693 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 7 July 2021.