Abolition of “lockdown” competitions, regulations on remote work, and “elections” in Crimea: bills and resolutions on the parliamentary agenda

The Verkhovna Rada continues to work and make decisions important to Ukrainian citizens. Today in our digest: presidential proposal to renew proper civil service competitions, changes to labor legislation, and a protest against yet another violation of international law by the Russian Federation.

Abolition of “lockdown” competitions for positions in civil service (3491)

Status: the President has submitted his amendments; MPs will vote on them and then can adopt the bill.

Who is affected: civil servants, the Cabinet, the President, and Ukrainian citizens.

What does it change:

  • the Cabinet will stop hiring civil servants by conducting competitions reduced to mere interviews during the lockdown
  • the Cabinet, ministers, and other top officials of central executive bodies will lose the power during their first four months in office to dismiss civil servants of category A
  • the President will gain more influence on the Commission for the High Corps of the Civil Service by excluding a Cabinet’s representative (an HR expert) and replacing them with the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (appointed by the President)
  • civil servants appointed under the “lockdown” procedure will be able to keep their positions without going through a competition.

What is right: “lockdown” competitions for civil service positions and the power of the Prime Minister and ministers during their first four months in office to dismiss civil servants resulted in abuse of power by the Government and had a negative influence on the civil service.

What is wrong:

  • the first version of the bill has not addressed “lockdown” competitions or the composition of the Commission for the High Corps of the Civil Service, so President’s amendments are out of the bill’s scope. Via the amendments, the President is trying to increase his influence on the executive branch
  • changes proposed by the President will allow civil servants appointed without proper competitions to retain their positions.

Regulations on remote work (4051)

Status: the bill will be considered in the first reading; MPs can still submit their amendments.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, employees, and employers.

What does it change:

  • the bill delineates the notions of “flexible work”, “remote work”, and “work from home”, defines the requirements, procedure, and sufficient reasons for employees to switch to one of the remote work modes
  • defines the procedure of how new employees on remote contracts should be familiarized with workplace policies, collective labor agreements, etc.
  • employees that abuse the opportunity to work a flexible schedule could be switched back to usual work schedule.

What is right: the bill gives employers and employees a legal possibility to agree on special working conditions that could be convenient and comfortable for both parties.

Protest against “local elections” in Crimea (4109)

Status: the resolution is ready for adoption.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, MPs, diplomats, the occupational administration, and the international community.

What does it change:

  • the Parliament will issue a protest against “local elections” conducted by the Russian occupation administration in the occupied Crimea. The Russia’s action is a major violation of international and Ukrainian law, the Constitution of Ukraine
  • the protest note will stress that the results of such “elections” are illegitimate and should not be recognized by the international community.

What is right: “local elections” held by the Russian occupation administration is yet another act of aggression by Russia against Ukraine and an attempt to legalize the occupation of the peninsula. The people of Ukraine do not recognize the occupation as legitimate, and the Verkhovna Rada as their representative body confirms that.

There are other bills on the agenda: on regional languages in education (3077 and 3077-1, for more details, please check our previous digest) and on acceptable reasons for MPs to skip plenary or committee meetings (3642, for more details, please check our previous digest).