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Fixed-term contracts in Ukraine: Conditions and requirements businesses should consider | News Flash

June 24, 2022

Fixed-term employment is a contractual relationship between an employer and an employee that lasts for a specified period of time and applies only for the duration of certain work. In Ukraine, this contract is regulated by the labour code that ensures that fixed-term contracts respect basic labour rights, particularly unjust dismissal and renewal.

When are fixed-term contracts applicable

In Ukraine, a fixed-term employment contract is concluded when:the labour relations cannot be established for an indefinite period, taking into account:

  • the nature of the work (for example, when hiring an employee for seasonal work)
  • conditions of its implementation (for example, if it is necessary to replace a temporarily absent employee)
  • interests of the employee (for example, in connection with the family and domestic circumstances, at the employee’s request or initiative only)

in cases that are specifically provided by lawThe term of a fixed-term employment contract is set by the agreement of the parties. It can be determined by:

  • the time of occurrence of a certain event
  • the specific term
  • the performance of a certain amount of work

Duration and renewal of a fixed-term contract

The Ukrainian labour code specifies no minimum or maximum duration for fixed-term employment contracts. However, when it comes to the renewal of these contracts, the law is quite specific.

Fixed-term contracts that have been re-negotiated one or more times should be considered as contracts for an indefinite period. Therefore, if the employee was hired for a period of 1 month, and after this period re-signed such a contract for another month, the second contract will be indefinite.

Exceptions are specified in Part 2 of Art. 23 of the Labour Code, and the apply to the scenario when the nature of the work performed, the conditions of its implementation or the interests of the employee do not allow the conclusion of an indefinite contract, or it is explicitly provided by law.

The oddness of the situation with the re-concluded contract is that only a court can make a final decision on whether a fixed-term contract has been transformed into an indefinite one or not (with an exception). Therefore, it is necessary to record the reasons that led to the need for a fixed-term employment contract.

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