The Complete Guide To Hiring Developers In Ukraine in 2022
Besides being Europe's second-largest country by area, Ukraine is also one of its most populous nations, famed for its rich historical heritage. Until the pandemic, the country experienced a steady GDP growth and development in agriculture, mining, and IT industries.
The European nation boasts a rapidly growing tech sector with a large and highly-skilled workforce in IT services, eCommerce, software development, and customer support. It is little wonder then that Ukraine has emerged as a popular outsourcing destination for companies worldwide.
Why you should consider Ukraine Developers?
With Ukrainian developers, you get high-quality services at lower wages and social security contributions compared to other European countries. The country, in fact, ranks among the top destinations in Europe for hiring remote software developers and IT specialists.
So, if you are looking to hire software developers in Ukraine, this guide will give you all the information you need.
Things to keep in mind when hiring in Ukraine
Let us begin with the facts international employers must know about Ukraine's labor force and laws governing its employment agreements.
Languages in Ukraine
For U.S. and European businesses, communicating and negotiating with Ukrainian developers is easy as the vast majority — around 70% or more — speak upper-intermediate or fluent English. As of 2020, Ukrainians have a moderate level of English proficiency, similar to that in Italy, Hong Kong, Spain, and South Korea.
Software Developers in Ukraine
Numerous software outsourcing companies, including many multinational players, thus have offices and affiliated branches across Ukraine.
With such an active market, Ukrainian developers have vast skills and experience in various industries. So when hiring developers from Ukraine, you will likely get a seasoned specialist with excellent soft skills.
Ukrainian employment agreement
In Ukraine, an employment agreement doesn't necessarily need to be in writing. Exceptions are made in certain mandatory cases such as agreements involving minor, employment contracts, and agreements for remote/home-based work.
But generally, the agreement is formalized by submitting an employee's application and the employer's order.
All employment agreements are categorized according to:
- An open-ended employment agreement.
- A fixed-term employment agreement.
- An employment agreement concluded for the term for the performance of certain kinds of work.
The type of engagement:
- A part-time employment agreement.
- A full-time employment agreement.
The type of employer and employee relations:
- An employment agreement for primary employment — this is generally full-time employment.
- An employment agreement for secondary employment — this is an additional employment agreement, usually part-time.
There are also a few types of employment agreements related to short-term and seasonal work, although outdated rules from the Soviet Era still regulate them.
The Ukrainian employment law does not state any obligatory terms for an employment agreement, but the following terms must be included while drafting it:
- Names of the parties involved.
- Employment commencement date.
- Terms of payment.
- Work hours.
- Place of work.
- Job title or job description.
The Ukrainian employment law does not consider implied clauses. Statutory laws will be applied when:
- Certain issues are not regulated by the text stated in the employment agreement.
- Provisions of the agreement are less favorable to employees than the legislative rules.
Along with this, collective bargaining agreements, other internal procedures, and rules of internal labor procedures may result in supplementary benefits and terms to be followed.
Wages and working hours
The minimum wage in Ukraine for a full-time employee is UAH 6,500 per month, which is approximately $231. As stated by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, the average salary in the country as of October 2021 is UAH 14,045, which is approximately $438. In the capital city of Kyiv, it is UAH 20,481, which is roughly $639.
In Ukraine, the salary needs to be paid monthly in two installments, and the maximum number of days between the two installments is 16. Companies that are registered on the territory of Ukraine must pay salaries using the local currency, Hryvnia. Salaries cannot be paid in foreign currencies.
A standard working week in Ukraine is forty hours, consisting of five working days at eight hours per day. In some cases, the employer can decide to introduce a six-day working week leading to seven working hours per day.
It is to be noted that employees working under harmful conditions and those under the age of 18 are entitled to work less than forty hours per week. For example, youth aged 14-15 can work up to 24 hours per week, whereas those between 16-18 years can work up to 36 hours per week.
Certain employees may need a shorter working week, resulting in a proportional decrease in their salary (this can be a pregnant woman, a woman whose child is under the age of 14, and those who care for sick family members or have a disabled child).
Paid time off
All employees in Ukraine are entitled to at least 24 calendar days of paid leave, which depends on their workload and overall health.
Changes in the number of paid leaves occur when:
- Employees are under the age of 18 - They get 31 calendar days off.
- Employees have some disability - They get 26 to 30 calendar days off (depending on their condition's severity)
An employer is required to accept their employee's request for a specified duration of unpaid leave in cases like a honeymoon. Besides the mandatory provision of unpaid leave, an employer may need to provide unpaid leave to an employee for family matters or any other request. However, an unpaid leave cannot exceed 15 calendar days a year.
According to Ukrainian Labor law, all 11 public holidays are paid. Employees also get an annual paid holiday entitlement and are allowed unlimited paid sick leave until full recovery or they are officially declared as disabled to work.
Employers are required to pay for sick leave until the sixth day, after which employees get a sickness benefit from Ukraine’s Social Security Fund. This benefit will range between 50% to 100% of their income.
Female employees are allocated 126 days of fully paid maternity leave, which starts 70 days before their delivery date and can extend up to 56 days post-delivery. If they give birth to two or more children or have significant complications, the maternity leave can be extended to 140 paid days, split before and after the delivery period.
Post-birth, a new parent of either gender can take unpaid parental leave to take care of the child until the age of three. The leave entitlement can be taken at a stretch or from time to time.
Parents who adopt a newborn directly from a hospital are allowed 56 days paid maternity leave (in case of multiple adoptions, the leave duration becomes 70) to take care of the newly adopted child. However, only one of the parents can receive the leave entitlement.
During a workday, Ukrainian employees can take breaks for up to two hours. The rest break can be taken four hours after a shift begins and is not part of the work time. Employees are not allowed to work two successive shifts.
Income Tax and Social Security
In Ukraine, an employer must pay taxes on behalf of its employees before crediting their salary. The taxes to be paid are:
- Personal income tax - 18% payable from the monthly salary
- Military tax - 1.5% payable from the monthly salary
- Social Security tax - 22% payable over the monthly salary
Bear in mind that the Social Security tax is calculated for the salary base that does not exceed fifteen minimum salaries in Ukraine. The minimum salary is stated by Ukrainian law for a specific period.
In case the salary exceeds UAH 55,845, the Social Security tax is calculated only on the amount that does not exceed UAH 55,845. Hence, an employee's maximum monthly Social Security tax contribution amounts to UAH 12,285.9 (22% of UAH 55,845).
Cost of labor in Ukraine
It is an excellent idea to strengthen your team with Ukrainian developers and IT specialists when you need high-quality work without stretching your budget. After all, the country's tech talent is known for its solid expertise at a reasonable price.
For example, the average annual salary of an American programmer is approximately $75,000, while that of a Ukrainian programmer is roughly $25,000. The difference between the two is significant, so hiring developers in Ukraine can be an excellent option when on a limited budget.
How do you hire employees in Ukraine?
Ukraine's workforce of 19.5 million is covered by employee protection and workers' rights determined by its Constitution and Labor Code. All employees in the country are protected against discrimination based on religion, age, sexual orientation, race, and gender expression.
The hiring process depends on whether you choose local or foreign employees. Hiring foreign employees requires a work permit through a local employment center, and you also need to prove that you were unable to find a Ukrainian citizen for that position.
A work permit is usually for a year, though it can be extended. Ukraine's residents do not require a work permit; however, they have to be at least 18-years-old to be employed.
The most common questions asked during the hiring process revolve around minimum wage, guaranteed paid time off, and overtime rates.
Apart from this, there are a few more things that you must keep in mind, considering that some aspects of hiring in Ukraine differ from the practices in your home country.
Virtually interviewing remote employees
Many international employers choose to conduct virtual interviews when hiring remote employees in Ukraine. The country has excellent internet penetration rates, so you don't have to worry about connecting with candidates via online communication channels. And, when scheduling virtual interviews, be mindful of the time difference to pick a workable time for both the interviewer and the candidate.
Unlike most countries worldwide, your ability to run a background check on your prospective employees is limited in Ukraine due to its privacy and data protection laws. You need the person's consent to process their personal data or information.
Are you looking to hire in Poland instead? Read this guide to hiring in Poland.
If you've made it this far, you're clearly keen on hiring Ukrainian software developers. If you are looking to hire them without the hassles involved in international expansions, look no further. We at Starkflow can streamline the entire process of international hiring for you so that you can concentrate on the more critical aspects of your business. Contact us now!