April 14, 2009

Poland scolds Kiev limiting work permits

Legislative changes limiting access to the Ukrainian labor market for foreigners could endanger Polish investments, a Polish official said.

The government of Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko passed limitations on work permits for foreign managers to open more opportunities for Ukrainians, the Polish news.pl Web site said. The limitations go into effect May 1

Marian Przezdziecki, deputy head of the International Society of Polish Companies in Ukraine, said the move was a huge slap in the face for Polish investments and claimed it would be impossible to control investments without Polish managers in Ukraine.

The number of documents needed to obtain work permits in Ukraine is to rise considerably as of next month.

Law changes also limit work permits to a three-year period for managers and one year for lower positions. Sanctions for violating the new regulations, apart from fines of $1,500 instead of the present $100 fines, include deportation from Ukraine at the expense of employers.

At the end of 2008, about 400 Polish companies with $700 million of investments were doing business in Ukraine, the Web site said.