Belarus Changes Its Labor Code. What Are The Amendments?

Fathers and stepfathers will be able to apply for paternity leave, mothers with kids up to three years old can go on a business trip, and holiday-makers are now allowed to work full-time. What else has been amended in the Labor Code of Belarus?

Overtime and weekend work for mothers

Since the new edition of the Labor Code comes in force, Belarusians who have children under the age of three will be able to go on a business trip, to work on weekends and holidays.

Employers will also be able to assign them to overtime work. Restrictions on business trips and overtime work were left unchanged only for pregnant women.

Paternity leave for fathers and stepfathers

Employers are obliged to let the men go on short leave (for up to 14 days) at the birth of a child. In this case, the employer doesn’t have to pay a salary for this period.

A parent will be able to officially take a leave of absence within six months from the moment of birth of a child, and the employer will not be able to refuse him.

A collective agreement may provide for a different duration and payment of paternity leave, meaning paternity leave from work can be paid and the number of days can vary.

30-days notice period

The new edition of the Labor Code establishes a monthly notice period for an employee to change essential working conditions, including a change in the wage system and working hours.

Employment security

The updated Labor Code provides employment security for conscientious employees. Thus, the law provides that it is possible to extend the work contract within the five-year term of its validity.

However, this will only apply for the workers who followed industrial, technological, executive and labor disciplinary standards. The contract with such employees will be renewed until the maximum expiration date and will be at least for three years.

Full-time work for vacationers

Employees who are on leave from the primary place of work are allowed to work part-time, full time or shift. At present, part-time work is allowed only for half the working day.

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This paragraph is especially relevant for people with relatively long vacations, for example, teachers. During their summertime vacation, they will be able to officially earn extra money elsewhere.

Work in two places

Employers will have a right to temporarily transfer workers to another job, including to another employer, for up to six months during a calendar year.

This can be done only with the written consent of the employee. At present, such an option is available in case of downtime or business need. For a temporary transfer, an order with the reasons, terms of the transfer, and pay conditions must be drawn up.

The other employer is obliged, inter alia, to provide the employee with working conditions that meet the occupational safety requirements.

Equal liability

The document stipulates that limited liability in the absence of intent to cause damage will apply to all workers, regardless of whether they work under a contract or an open-ended employment contract.

Contractors are now subject to full liability. It means that an employee is obliged to fully reimburse the amount of damage, no matter whether he caused it intentionally or not.

At the same time, an employee who has an employment agreement for an indefinite period may not fully compensate for damages for accidentally broken or damaged equipment.

Freelancers legitimized 

The new version of the Labor Code introduces the concept of freelancing. Standards for working hours and rest periods will apply to freelance workers, as well as to specialists who work on the employer’s territory.

A working vacation to an employee who works “at a distance” is provided according to the employment contract and in accordance with the Labor Code.