The complete guide to offering employee benefits in Ukraine
Mar 30, 2023
Before hiring employees in Ukraine, you need to put together the right benefits package to offer your potential new employees. When choosing benefits, it's crucial to stay compliant with Ukrainian labor laws, which offer robust protection for workers.
Your benefits plan for Ukrainian employees must at least meet the statutory minimums for mandatory employee benefits in Ukraine. Read on for all you need to know to make sure your employee benefit plan stays compliant with Ukrainian law.
What employee benefits are mandatory in Ukraine?
Mandatory benefits are required by Ukrainian law. These statutory benefits are considered minimum standards that all employers must provide for employees in Ukraine.
Keep in mind that the benefits required by the government of Ukraine are statutory minimums, and employers can always offer more than these mandatory benefits. Also, note that these benefits are mandatory for employees—independent contractors in Ukraine aren't entitled to any benefits.
In Ukraine, many statutory employee benefits are part of the social security program, making benefits administration a bit simpler for employers. Employers contribute 22% of each employee's gross salary to the program, which covers:
- Health insurance
- Employment insurance
- Accident insurance
- Funeral grants
Social security also helps cover certain types of leave (like sick leave and parental leave) so employers only need to cover part of the cost of an absent employee's pay (more on that below).
Overtime is only allowed in Ukraine during "exceptional cases," and there are strict limits on who can work overtime (and how much):
- No one can work more than four hours of overtime over two consecutive days.
- No one can work more than 120 hours of overtime in a year.
- Overtime is not allowed for employees who are pregnant or have children under three years old, employees under 18 years old, or employees who are students.
- Overtime is only allowed for employees who have children between ages three and 14, or employees with disabilities if the employer gets their consent first.
On weekdays, overtime must be paid at twice the employee's normal salary or wage. If overtime is performed on the employee's usual day of rest, they can be given another day of rest in lieu of overtime pay.
Employees in Ukraine are entitled to up to four months of sick leave. The first five days are paid in full by the employer. Any sick leave beyond five days is paid for by the Social Insurance Fund at a rate determined by the employee's length of service.
While terminating employees is extremely difficult to do in Ukraine, employers can terminate employment for an employee who has been on sick leave for more than four months.
All employees in Ukraine are entitled to at least 24 calendar days of paid vacation leave per year, which becomes available after they've worked for six continuous months. Certain types of employees are entitled to more vacation leave, including:
- Employees under 18, who are entitled to 31 days of vacation per year.
- Participants in hostilities, victims of the Revolution of Dignity, persons with disabilities as a result of war, and some other categories of employees, who are entitled to an additional 14 days of paid leave per year.
- Employees who work under hazardous conditions, who may be entitled to additional leave depending on their industry.
Ukraine recognizes a number of statutory national holidays, including religious holidays for both Orthodox and Catholic religions. Below are the statutory holidays employees are entitled to.
Ukraine's social security program funds maternity leave and covers either parental leave or childcare until a child is three years old.
Pregnant employees are entitled to 126 days of maternity leave—70 days before birth and 56 days after birth. If they give birth to multiples, they're entitled to 140 days—70 days before birth and an additional 70 days after. Maternity leave is funded by social security at 100% of the employee's average earnings.
Once maternity leave is up, a mother, father, or grandparent can take parental leave until the child is three years old. This paid leave is funded by social security at 100% of the caregiver's average earnings. Alternatively, social security pays for childcare if all eligible family members choose to work instead.
A one-time paid leave of up to 14 calendar days after the birth of a child is available to:
- Any husband whose wife has given birth
- The child's father if he lives with the mother
- A grandparent or other adult relative who is caring for the child, if their mother or father is a single parent
This leave is 100% paid by the employer.
What employee benefits are optional in Ukraine?
All the benefits we've covered above are statutory minimums, meaning all employers must provide them to employees in Ukraine. When employers want to be particularly competitive, they can offer additional, non-required benefits. Some common supplementary benefits in Ukraine are listed below.
Health insurance plans
While all Ukrainian residents are entitled to healthcare under the national system, some employers offer additional health benefits for employees and their families. This allows employees to get faster, higher-quality healthcare.
There are no statutory bonuses in Ukraine, but some employers offer yearly or performance-based bonuses to help attract and retain the best talent.
Group life insurance is not required in Ukraine, but is a common supplemental benefit for employers to offer. Employers generally cover 100% of the premiums, and the insurance offers financial support to family members if the employee dies or is permanently disabled, or if they suffer from a severe injury or critical illness.
Meal and car allowance
These may be considered perks, rather than benefits, but they're among the supplementary offerings that are common for companies with Ukrainian employees. Meal and car allowances help offset the expense of working on-site by providing employees meals during work hours and helping them cover the cost of a vehicle to commute to and from work.
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Disclaimer: Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.