Fines for pedestrians and cyclists, protection for migrant workers from dishonest recruiters, and permission for lawyers and notaries to apply for civil service

From February 15 to 19, the Verkhovna Rada holds plenary meetings and may adopt up to 85 draft bills addressing a variety of issues. For our digest, we have picked the bills that will influence the life of Ukrainians the most if adopted. If you temporarily or permanently work abroad, have a desire to become a civil servant but have work experience only as a lawyer or notary, or travel as a pedestrian or cyclist — please check out these legislative proposals.

Better protection for migrant workers (2365)

Status: second reading.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens planning to work abroad, recruitment agencies and sole proprietors, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Social Policy, and the State Labor Service.

What does it change: the bill introduces new regulations for recruitment agencies and sole proprietors that connect Ukrainian citizens to jobs abroad:

  • companies and sole proprietors will be allowed to charge for their services only foreign employers and not migrant workers
  • legal entities providing recruitment services will need no license
  • all legal entities providing recruitment services will have to register as such providers
  • recruitment agencies and sole proprietors will be liable to administrative punishment for violations in providing their intermediary services or charging migrant workers for their services.

Why this is important: several millions of Ukrainian citizens work abroad on a permanent basis or at season jobs. During the last two decades, the whole industry of services connecting workers to their jobs emerged. Because most of the recruitment agencies work under the table and the state has no effective control over their work, migrant workers often fall victims to fraud or even human trafficking.

What is right:

  • the prohibition for recruitment agencies to charge migrant workers for their services will protect the workers from overcharge
  • the abolishment of licensing and the introduction of the state registry of legal entities providing intermediary recruitment services lower the corruption risks and contribute to the unshadowing of the recruitment market.

What else: the bill will not solve all of the problems with employment fraud and other troubles that migrant workers face. Ukraine will still have to arrange bilateral cooperation with countries where our migrant workers provide their services.

Cosponsors8 MPs from Servant of the People faction with Halyna Tretiakova as the first signatory.

Permission for lawyers and notaries to apply for civil service (4361)

Status: second reading.

Who is affected: candidates for positions within the civil service and government bodies.

What does the bill change: candidates with experience as lawyers, notaries, trustees in bankruptcy, external managers, and official receivers will become eligible to apply for the civil service.

What is right: one of the obstacles to a successful implementation of state policies is a staff shortage in the civil service. The bill will help the civil service to engage professionals from the private sector.

What is wrong:

  • the bill proposes to allow people with experience as lawyers or notary to apply for positions within the high corps of the civil service. The problem is that such positions require significant managerial experience and applicants without the necessary background will not be able to lead their teams of subordinates. Generally, lawyers and notaries do not have the necessary experience
  • the bill downgrades the importance of a civil service career by allowing outsiders to be appointed to the highest positions within the service. Under such circumstances, career civil servants will have fewer chances to be promoted to the top and thus will have less motivation to build a career within the service.

Alternative solution: allow people with experience as lawyers or notaries to apply only for positions of categories B and C within the civil service. This way professionals from the private sector will be able to become civil servants, get the necessary managerial experience, and only then apply for the highest positions (category A) within the service.

Cosponsors: 22 MPs from Servant of the People faction with Ihor Fris as the first signatory, 1 independent, 1 MP from For the Future group, and 2 MPs from the group Trust.

Higher fines for pedestrians and cyclists (2697)

Status: second reading.

Who is affected: road users and the National Police.

What does it change: the bill proposes to increase the following administrative fines:

  • the fine for jaywalking, crossing against the lights, or failure to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle will be increased from ₴51 to ₴170
  • cyclists and animal transport drivers will also pay much higher fines for traffic violations:
  • instead of ₴85, the fine will be ₴225
  • for the same violations made under the influence, the fine will be increased from ₴136 to ₴340
  • for the same violations if they have caused a crash situation the fine will be increased from ₴170 to ₴510.

What is right:

  • stricter penalties will decrease the number of traffic violations by pedestrians and cyclists
  • higher fines for pedestrians and cyclists will make penalties for traffic violations commensurable for all road users. At the moment, motorists pay much higher fines in comparison to others.

Cosponsors: 3 MPs from Servant of the People faction with Oleksandr Bakumov as the first signatory.

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