Discriminatory requirements in job advertisements in Ukraine

Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Advertising”, which introduced a legal definition for sex-based discriminatory advertising with effect from 8 January 2022, also affected job advertisements.

Job advertisements (vacancy announcements) are subject to the provisions of the Ukrainian advertising law. It means that restrictions on the content of the job advertisements apply. Specifying age restrictions for job seekers, or offering jobs only to women or only to men (except as when work can be performed exclusively by persons of a certain gender), to persons of specific race, skin color, political, religious and other beliefs, only to members of trade unions or other associations, or to representatives of specific ethnic and social origin or property status, place of residence, language etc. is strictly prohibited.

However, cited law provision did not actually work because none of the state bodies in Ukraine was authorised to monitor the job market and apply sanctions against non-compliant employers.

Now, this gap has been closed. The State Labor Service of Ukraine will impose a fine of UAH 65,000 (equivalent to appr. EURO 2,000) on an employer placing a job advertisement containing discriminatory requirements for candidates. The amount of fine is calculated as ten minimum wage established by law at the time of the violation (as of the date of this publication it is UAH 6,500).

In Ukraine, job advertisements containing gender and/or age requirements for candidates are quite common. It is not a secret that even employers who place non-discriminatory job advertisement often apply discriminatory “selection procedure” and do not hire women/men after maternity leave, a parent with babies and minors, single mothers/fathers, women/men of pre-retirement age… Nevertheless, the above fine can apply only if a job advertisement contains any of the above-mentioned discriminatory requirements to the candidates.

However, one minor step would allow the State Labor Service of Ukraine to impose fines – it is a piece of legislation about the procedure on imposing the fine, which is expected to be adopted soon.

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