23 April 2024

Collective labour agreements

The premises for a draft bill on collective labour agreements and collective arrangements have been published in the list of the Council of Ministers’ legislative and scheduled work.

The new regulations are intended to regulate comprehensively the rules for entering into and registering collective labour agreements and collective arrangements. From the perspective of employers, the most important of these are:

  • Specific term of an agreement. Two terms have been introduced for these agreements: 5 years for an enterprise-level agreement and 10 years for a multi-enterprise agreement. The parties will be able to extend an agreement’s duration for a further term.
  • Open range of matters. The range of matters that may be covered by an agreement will be determined by the parties. This represents a significant broadening of the existing scope.
  • Assistance of a mediator. Parties negotiating the details of an agreement will be able to benefit from the assistance of a mediator.
  • Simplifications in registering collective labour agreements. Among other changes, the bill does away with the hitherto complicated procedure that required agreements to be sent in or correspondence to be conducted only in writing. It is also anticipates that entries in the National Register of Collective Labour Agreements will be made electronically.
  • Easier procedure for expanding an agreement. An application to the minister responsible for labour matters to expand a multi-enterprise agreement is to be submittable by an employer that is not included in the agreement in conjunction with the trade union operating there. Under the hitherto legislation on expanding the scope of an agreement, only the employing enterprises and the multi-enterprise trade unions that concluded an agreement may request its expansion.
  • Easier withdrawal from a multi-enterprise agreement. A simpler procedure has been proposed for withdrawing from a multi-enterprise agreement for firms that are unable to implement it for economic reasons.

The draft bill itself has not been published yet. It is expected that the Council of Ministers will adopt it in the third quarter of 2024.