The “penalty” for delay of salaries: pre-election PR or to protect the interests of workers?

«Пеня» за задержку зарплат: предвыборный пиар или защита интересов работников?

The government figured out how to punish unscrupulous employers. We are talking about a new law that legalizes sanctions against companies where there are delays in the payment of salaries.

The Ministry of social policy drafted a bill to fight against delays of salaries. The document has already been published for public comment, and after it is waiting for consideration in the Verkhovna Rada. The bill proposed to introduce “penalties” against employers if it does not fulfill its obligations. So, if the delay of salary or advance payment exceeded the 15 days, according to the bill, an employee may not report to work, written notice to his company or firm about it for two days. The employer is required to pay the “truancy” of the employee in the amount of 2/3 of his average wage.

As the press service of the Ministry of social policy, “the bill obliges the employer to pay the employee a penalty in the amount of NBU discount rate (18% annual) for each day of delay more than 15 days.”

In addition, the provisions of the bill oblige the employer to pay the employee compensation in the amount of three average monthly wages in case of bankruptcy of the enterprise.

A new law may come into force in 2020, if its Parliament before the end of this year.

It should be noted that today there is legislation protecting workers from unscrupulous employer. It involves the fines of 1-3 minimum wages and prison terms of up to 2 years. However, these laws are not very effective because involve a lengthy trial.

The lawyer Rostislav Kravets believes that the initiative of the Ministry of social policy on putting “interest” is populist in nature and will not find application in Ukraine.

“This bill is populist in nature, and it will not be perceived by the Ukrainians. In all cases, the non-payment of wages due to financial difficulties of the enterprise. For deliberate non-payment of wages, the law provides criminal liability. The introduction of any additional penalty against the company, which has debts to employees will lead to its destruction,” – said R. Kravets.

With the lawyer jointly and severally economist Andriy Novak, calling the bill a pre-election technology of power.

“What about the initiative of the Ministry of social policy we learn only now, suggests that we are dealing with a populist initiative on the eve of elections. The government wants to demonstrate his alleged concern for the common citizens”, – said the economist.

According to A. Novak, efficiency initiatives Minsotspolitiki depends entirely on the size of the “penalties”. She, at least, should correspond to 1/30 of the salary of the employee.

“Thus, the day of delay corresponds to one day of pay. No less. If the penalty is lower than this level, then the act would not fulfill the function for which it’s going to take,” concluded Novak.

However, Ukraine continues to grow, the arrears of wages. According to the State statistics service, in September she reached 2,889 billion, an increase of 6.5% on a monthly measurement.

Since the beginning of the year wage arrears increased by 521 million, or 22% more than January-September last year.

“In Ukraine because of the economic crisis will continue to grow for arrears of wages. Basically, the debt of large enterprises. The government is talking about the law “fine”. From the Cabinet will sound threatening statements on the audit of all employers, but actually it will not help to rectify the situation. Today the arrears of wages may be reduced, if the country’s economy starts to grow. In many cases, the company really can’t pay salaries, and not doing it deliberately,” – says economist Alexander Okhrimenko.

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