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Leave without pay is one of the types of leave to which an employee is entitled. As a general rule, in accordance with the Labor Code of Ukraine and the Law of Ukraine "On Vacations", an employee has the legal right to a vacation without saving salary due to personal circumstances, but not more than 15 days during a calendar year. But with the beginning of the introduction of martial law, the issue of this type of leave changed somewhat and was supplemented by regulatory and legal acts.

Changes after February 24, 2022

Law of Ukraine No. 2136-9 dated 15.03.2022 establishes that an employee may be granted leave without a time limit during martial law. That is, if the employee wishes to receive leave for the entire period of martial law, he has such a right. For this, he needs to write an application for granting this type of leave in the name of the employer.

What is important is that the period of the employee's stay on such leave is included in the insurance record, which gives the employee the right to receive annual basic leave in the future.

These changes apply to all employees, regardless of whether the employee has the status of an internally displaced person (IDP) or not.

But employers had quite a lot of questions about those workers who were forced to leave the territory of Ukraine and went abroad, namely how to issue them vacations and for how long. For this purpose, Law No. 2136 was amended in July 2022.

Changes after July 19, 2022

Another type of leave without salary was introduced by Law No. 2136. This type of leave applies specifically to IDPs and people who have left the country. In accordance with the specified Law, the employer is obliged to provide an employee who has the status of an IDP or who is outside Ukraine without pay for the period of time requested by the employee, but not more than 90 days during the introduction of martial law. Such leave may be used for 90 days in a row or it may be several leaves, but the total number of days of stay shall not exceed 90 days. The period of being on such leave is not included in the insurance period, and therefore the employee will not be able to apply for annual basic leave during the period of being on leave without saving the salary. Such leave may be granted until the end of martial law.

Benefits for the employee

The employer does not have the right to refuse to grant this type of leave to the employee, provided that the employee submits documents confirming that he is entitled to this leave. Such documents are a copy of the certificate on obtaining the status of an IDP or a copy of documents confirming stay abroad.

So, while martial law is in force, an employee can use such a leave as leave without salary. This is the employee's legal right, and if ambiguous situations arise, you can always get qualified advice from a labor law attorney.

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