“The government continues to ignore the needs of the business and has no real strategy for solving the problems of the pension system,” said MP Roman Semenukha when commenting on the government’s reaction to his criticism of the ineffectiveness of large-scale business audits.
We are talking about joint inspections of entrepreneurs by employees of the State Labor Service and the Pension Fund of Ukraine, which have been there since October of last year. Logically, such audits should aim at making business get out from the “shadow”, at achieving transparent employment of people.
In fact, the result is the opposite – the amount of fines has increased and the number of employees, on the contrary, decreased.
If in 10 months of 2018 (before the start of inspections), more than 1.2 billion hryvnias of fines were paid by perpetrators, then in January 2019 alone this figure is more than 441 million.
“As the result of this pressure, we have achieved not the expected unshadowing, but a decrease in the number of employees — by 58.8 thousand over the last quarter of the year, that is, from the beginning of active inspections,” noted Roman Semenukha.
At the same time, last year, the shortage of the unified social tax, which is the main income of the Pension Fund, amounted to 12 billion hryvnias, and the deficit of PF increased from 139 to 167.5 billion hryvnias.
“The violation of labour laws should be punished indeed,” said Roman Semenukha. “But the minister of social policy is ignoring some obvious things – excessive pressure and coercion, fines amounting to millions of hryvnias will not bring business out of the shadows, will not increase the number of employees and will not contribute to an increase in the revenues of the Pension Fund.”
Samopomich demands to stop exercising pressure on business.
Almost two years ago, a bill 6489 co-authored by MPs Roman Semenukha and Tetiana Ostrikova was adopted. This bill suggests changing the mechanism for applying penalties and reviewing their size.
Such an initiative, which concerns the reduction of fines for violations in the sphere of labour legislation, is also provided for by a draft law 10012 developed by the deputies of Samopomich, which was registered in February 2019. However, these initiatives are not submitted for consideration. Moreover, the Minister of Social Policy continues to insist that the checks are efficient and they will continue.
“No matter how the Minister of Social Policy tries to devalue the business, these are entrepreneurs, taxpayers who are the main resource today and the eternal sponsors of irresponsible government.
Lack of a dialogue with the business and an even greater intensification of inspections will lead to a decrease in the resource which fills the Pension Fund, which means an increase in its deficit and subsequent stagnation of the pension system,” Roman Semenukha concluded.