Ukraine is harmonizing its national legislation, including employment regulations, to align itself with EU standards.

On 23 May 2017, legislation was passed through the Ukrainian Parliament making changes in relation to employment law. Subject to further amendments of the existing regulations and legislation, the procedures followed to employ foreign nationals will be simplified significantly going forward.

The legislation also introduces new categories of foreign employees:

  • highly paid professionals – with a monthly salary of more than UAH 160,000 per month, paid in Ukraine (€ 5,416.50, £ 4,718);
  • creative specialists – employees of the creative industries, including work carried out in the IP sector; and
  • IT professionals.

Foreign professionals, including those listed above, will benefit from the new legislation as it has made the procedure for obtaining work permits in Ukraine easier by simplifying the documents required. For example, there will no longer be a need to provide medical confirmations and criminal record checks (though Ukrainians employed abroad may still need to apply for these if required by the respective jurisdiction). However, foreign professionals wanting to be employed in Ukraine will still need to evidence that they have completed higher education. The simplified process is intended to generate more opportunities for the employment of foreign nationals in Ukraine.

In addition, for the first time a minimum salary level has been introduced which must be paid to a foreign employee by a Ukrainian employer. This is € 1,100 a month for normal business employment and € 550 for foreigners employed by NGOs.

There is also good news for managers of foreign owned Ukrainian subsidiaries, as managing directors can now be employed at an established Ukrainian subsidiary without any restrictions. Foreign companies can also nominate, when required, one person to be in charge of the management of a group of companies in Ukraine. It will be possible to apply for several work permits in relation to the employment of the same foreign employee, without restricting the number of Ukrainian companies they can work for.

The revised legislation also allows individuals to be employed at numerous Ukrainian companies using one (unified) work permit. Details of these work permits are yet to be specified by the state authorities.