According to the latest changes made to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine decision of March 11, 2020 “On Prevention of Acute COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Disease Caused by SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus”, a list of prohibitive measures in the sphere of services is defined.
In particular, it is said that from March 17, 2020 until April 24, 2020, the work of business entities, which provides for the reception of visitors, including catering establishments (restaurants, cafes, etc.), shopping centers and other entertainment establishments, is prohibited. , fitness centers, cultural institutions, retail and consumer services, except retail trade in food, fuel, hygiene products, medicines and medical devices, telecommunication nkivskoyi and insurance activities and trading activities and activities of the provision of catering using targeted delivery order, provided that the relevant personnel personal protection.
Official clarifications from the State Labor Service and comments from lawyers
According to these changes, as well as the official explanation of the State Labor Service, it can be concluded that the work of the enterprises producing production is not prohibited. The only requirement is that the employer comply with the employee’s proper protective conditions. In particular, in this case, the employer should provide workers with personal protective equipment, detergents and neutralizing agents, antiseptic and disinfectants free of charge, inform workers about preventive measures posted on the official website of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, arrange for maximum safe work place for workers and the opposite direction, etc., is stated in the explanation of the State Labor of Ukraine.
“The Cabinet of Ministers Resolution, which introduced a quarantine, effectively banned only the work of business entities, which provides for the reception of visitors (with a sufficiently approximate list of such types of business). – commented Oleg Dorofeyev, lawyer, partner of LEGITIM Law Agency. – Yes, it is clear that some exceptions were made for critical infrastructure facilities (pharmacies, grocery stores, etc.). However, the said Resolution does not even mention the word “production” in any way. That is, none of the prohibitions laid down applies to any production (including furniture production). In addition, such activities as “production” a priori do not involve the reception of visitors, but only the manufacture of certain goods with the involvement of specific staff. “
The State Labor Service reminds that in case of additional questions citizens and business entities can contact the State Labor by telephone for consultation 044 288 10 00, or directly to the regional territorial offices of the Service.
An emergency does not require automatic closure of industrial plants
“The restrictions currently in place do not contain a direct ban on the work of industrial enterprises. But it should be noted that Ukraine has a quarantine and a state of emergency. – emphasizes Mikhail Goncharuk, lawyer, managing partner of Honcharuk and Partners JSC. – By themselves, these modes do not provide for automatic shutdown of enterprises. It all depends on the specific situation. ”
For example, when setting up the quarantine, the CMU only recommended that “… enterprises, institutions, organizations provide for the organization of periodic work of employees, and, if technically possible, also work in real time via the Internet.”
At the same time, it should be remembered that the employee has the right to safe working conditions, and the employer is obliged to provide them! Yes, Art. 20 of the Civil Protection Code of Ukraine imposes on economic entities, in particular, the following responsibilities:
- ensuring the implementation of civil protection measures at the entities;
- provision of collective and individual protection in accordance with the legislation of their employees;
- implementation of civil protection measures at their own expense that reduce the risk of emergencies;
- observance of the anti-epidemic, anti-epizootic and anti-epiphytotic regimen;
- creation and use of material reserves to prevent and eliminate the consequences of emergencies.
That is, the issues of work of industrial enterprises, in particular furniture manufacturers, in quarantine and emergency situations need to be considered also in the context of the readiness of such enterprises to ensure a safe workplace and ensure civil protection of the population.
It is important for Ukrainian furniture manufacturers to never retain industry employees on the one hand while providing jobs and creating safe working conditions on the other.
Update information from April 7th, 2020:
In the meantime, the business environment of Ukraine has become increasingly outraged by the demands of law enforcement agencies on the legality of conducting their economic activities during quarantine events. Specifically, law enforcement agencies require businesses to provide information or a supporting document that the company belongs to the strategic category that is allowed to operate during this particular period. But, in the opinion of most lawyers in Ukraine, these claims are unjustified. Lawyers say that such pressure on business can and will be challenged massively by businesses in the courts.
The changes made to Government Resolution No. 211 of March 11, 2020, provide for a list of companies that are restricted in their activities at the time of quarantine. Instead, businesses in many industries are not listed in this regulation, and therefore, according to lawyers, on the assumption that anything that is not expressly prohibited by law, is allowed! Therefore, the activities of production companies under quarantine are allowed. In addition, these requirements, which seek to bring control and law enforcement to businesses, are inherently nothing more than an excess of authority and malpractice.
Lawyers, in response to any criticism of the controlling authorities, advise in their written replies to refer to the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers №211 taking into account the changes made by the decree of the government №255, where it is necessary to state as clearly as possible that your enterprise does not belong to the number of economic entities whose work is related to the reception of visitors. In this case, your business does not need any special permissions to carry out the activities you are so willing to refer auditors to!