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Optimists change the world

Оптимісти змінють світ incolanse

Optimists change the world

The name of Incolanse Law Firm appears quite often among businesspersons and experts, on the sidelines of professional conferences in legal and business topics. People listen to the voice of its founder Olga DRACHEVSKA, follow her advice. Our newsroom decided to know her views on the matters the domestic business should be interested in today. We also touched on the specific experience of Incolanse within almost a year and a half of quarantine. This question is now topical for everybody. What business and operational practices appeared efficient? 

From the very beginning, in 2013, when we founded Incolanse, its purpose was the thought and general philosophy of implementing approaches to make the life of business simpler. Since then, we never wandered off the point. During the long-years cooperation with our customers, we have learned to translate from the language of law into the one required and clear for business, – said Olha.

  • Ms. Olha, please tell us a couple of words about the award “Leaders of Ukraine”.
  • I’m not prone to boast with my awards, but, indeed, as the company leader, I’m proud that my colleagues and experts in the branch appreciate me so highly. (Olha Drachevska smiles – editor’s note). In recent years, the success of Incolanse got the highest regards from the professional experts’ society. Great honor for me is this nomination for the “Leader of Ukraine” for my leadership in managing the company and essential contribution to the social-economic growth of Ukraine. I’m also proud of getting 2nd prize in the National Award “The Best Female Ukrainian in the profession 2020”. It motivates me and inspires me for future gains.
  • You have great experience in legal services. Who cooperates with the Incolanse? What are your customers?
  • The team of Incolanse sharps the saw constantly, and its professionalism grows with practice. We have been members of the Kyiv Chamber of Commerce for long years. We cooperate with many members of the Chamber of Commerce of Ukraine. Every business must be aware of its market, competitors, marketing, technical section, legal backgrounds to stay efficient. Nowadays, there are many legal innovations, and they are multiplying. We are ready to lend a willing hand, as no success is possible without knowledge, without professional legal assistance.
  • How did the Incolanse team manage to survive the waves of quarantine for the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Despite the challenges of quarantine restrictions, deep-felt by business both in Ukraine and throughout the world, we saw this period as a time to enhance our flexibility, to learn how to adapt our work process. The constant communication with our clients enables us to resolve their matters promptly.  We always stay connected. We shall go back from a weekend if there is a company seeking our help. 
  • And now, what is of key importance for you personally?
  • The team. Incolanse is a well-orchestrated team of experts: high-qualified practicing advocates, lawyers, auditors, business mediators, sea and port logistics professionals, international trade, and accounting.

My colleagues never stop enhancing their expertise. The strongest result for us is the trust from our customers, confirmed by many years of my team’s cooperation with the most affluent companies in Ukraine.

  • Miss Olga, what businesses should pay attention to today? What changes and innovations shall they expect in the nearest future? For example, inspections by the state labor authority, penalties for labor law infringements?
  • In recent months, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, jointly with the President and the Government proposed and passed a range of initiatives relating to labor relations, inspecting business, tax changes, etc.  I would start from the neoteric order by the Ministry of Justice of 23.03.2021 № 1061/5, enabling state and private enforcement officers to impose an automatic arrest on debtor’s funds on bank accounts.

Under this Order, to impose arrest on the bank account independently, the enforcement officer shall first submit to a bank a demand to disclose the account information. At that, the NBU has recently approved a Ruling

№ 18 of 12.02.2021. It amends the Rules on Bank Secret Preservation, Protection, Use, and Disclosure. The respective changes made the search and arrest of the debtors’ accounts much easier for the enforcement officers. Thus, on a state authority’s and an enforcement officer’s demand, the banks will disclose the details of accounts of their customers who have debts: their account numbers, details of funds available thereon. Hence, today, the enforcement officers shall arrest not only the funds of alimony debtors but all others. I emphasize that the Order by the Ministry of Justice of 23.03.2021 № 1061/5 enables the automatic arrest of the funds on the account, not automatic debiting thereof, as there are two different procedures.

It’s also worth to mentioned Law №1320-IX, recently signed by the President to promote easing pressure on the business. Law №1320-IX comes into force on 27.04.2021 and prohibits the local executive bodies from making administrative protocols against labor laws infringement. By the way, the legislator has established an administrative liability for the officers of the state bodies in charge of the state supervision on making prescriptions, orders, tax notifications-resolutions, demands, and resolutions to impose a financial penalty, in canceled in administrative or judicial procedure. Hence, the said persons shall treat their duties more seriously. 

The Law of Ukraine №1320-IX enables local self-government bodies to put forward an initiative on a state inspection in the non-communal entities.

A similar initiative may touch private entrepreneurs who involve the labor of employees. Namely, the Law of Ukraine №1320-IX brings a range of amendments to the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Law Infringements (hereinafter – CUALI). From now on, if a company denies access for representatives of a central executive authority in charge of control and supervision over fulfillment of the state labor laws, who intend to make an inspection, a penalty will range from 50 to 100 tax-exempt minimum incomes (850 to 1700 UAH).

Within the context of the Law of Ukraine №1320-IX, it stands to mention that the Ministry of Economy has recently published for the discussion a project of the law to change the rules of making inspections and imposing penalties for labor law infringements.

For instance, if a person works without formal employment, or if an employer fails to pay the Unified social contribution for the employee, the penalty shall equal 15 minimal salaries (i.e. 90 thousand UAH) for every such person, while now it makes 10 minimal salaries (i.e. 60 thousand UAH).

Employers quite often neglect the law regarding vacations. The mentioned project of the law offers to punish it with a penalty equal to 3 minimal salaries (i.e. 18 thousand UAH). And a fine for making hindrances to an inspection to reveal inappropriately registered employees shall be 50 minimum salaries (i.e. 300 thousand UAH) instead of today’s 16 minimal salaries (96 thousand UAH).

I would also pay attention to the Project of Law №5266, where the Government makes a range of propositions to enhance the protection of the rights of employees. This document mostly relates to the changes to the law of a collective contract. The Project of the Law doesn’t make collective agreements compulsory for an employer. It proposes to extend the already existing contracts in the spheres to each enterprise with the respective kind of business activity. These are agreements concluded between the labor team and the employer. Its parties impose a range of liabilities on each other, among them: regards remuneration, work and dismissal conditions, etc. The content of a collective contract governs almost all elements of labor relations between employers and employees.

A collective contract conclusion is compulsory under Article 65 of the Economic Code of Ukraine (hereinafter – ECU). Instead, Article 4 ECU states that ECU does not regulate social-labor relations. The only condition for making a collective contract is an initiative of any party, the employer of the group of employees. Such is the collision for the legislative bodies to resolve.

Interesting is an innovation in the Project of Law №5266 is a notion of mass dismissal established therein. This document introduces the edge of dismissals for companies with over 300 employees. For such a company, a mass dismissal shall be a dismissal of over 30 persons. Meanwhile, dismissals due to labor contracts’ expiration shall not be considered mass.

The Project of Law № 5262 to amend the Law of Ukraine “On Employment of the Population” is another legal initiative to stimulate businesses to create working places and officially onboard their employees. It’s not a secret, that unofficial employment is a problem in our country. This document proposes to repay the employer a part of the salaries of those, who had been registered as unemployed under the Law of Ukraine “On Employment of Population” before the employment. Thus, during 3 months, territorial bodies of the Ministry of Economy shall repay 20% of the salary of such persons, and 30% of salary for employees under 25 years old.

I can’t ignore the digitalization of state services. After passing the Project of Law №4355, which equated electronic documents to paper and plastic ones, Ukraine has become the first state in the world with a legal e-passport of a citizen. It opens a wide range of options for business and promotes the implementation of paperless processes. With the paperless, state bodies shall not demand documents on paper, if the information in question is present in electronic registers.

Helpful for businesspersons shall be a service of licensing some activities in Diia application. Under the auspices of the Government, the respective experiment started on 01.05.2021.  It will last will 31.12.2023. The project will start with the top-10 the most popular licenses, among them – for retail trade in alcohol, tobacco, fuel.

Summarizing the mentioned initiatives, it’s possible to see the efforts of the state to improve the business climate in the country.

Whether we want or don’t want to forget about the world pandemic Covid-19, it remains and hasn’t gone. The quarantine brings restrictions to our everyday life, and business has to adapt. Without competent and reasonable support from the state, the businesspersons will be in trouble. It may take several years for businesses to reach the pre-crisis level, even if the epidemic situation gets better. Although I’, optimistic, because in a long-term perspective, the optimists are those who change the world.  That’s why, despite the challenges of today, the Incolanse legal company proceeds with comprehensive support and protection to its customers.

– Ms. Olha, thank you for the interview.

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