In July 2023, the Ukrainian government passed new legislation shifting the dates of several public holidays. The new arrangements are:
- Christmas Day will be on December 25th only. January 7th will be a regular working day.
- The Day of Ukrainian Statehood is moved from July 28th to July 15th.
- The Day of the Defenders of Ukraine is moved from October 14th to October 1st.
What was the leave before, what is it now?
Before the changes, Christmas Day was celebrated on January 7th in Ukraine, in line with the Russian Orthodox Church. However, a growing number of Ukrainians have been celebrating Christmas on December 25th in recent years, in line with the Western Christian tradition. The new legislation formally recognizes this shift.
The Day of Ukrainian Statehood was previously celebrated on July 28th, to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1991. The new date, July 15th, commemorates the baptism of Prince Volodymyr the Great in 988, which is seen as a key moment in the formation of the Ukrainian nation.
The Day of the Defenders of Ukraine was previously celebrated on October 14th, to commemorate the founding of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in 1942. The new date, October 1st, commemorates the day that Ukraine became a founding member of the United Nations in 1945.
Why the change?
The Ukrainian government has said that the changes are designed to “de-Russify” Ukraine and to promote Ukrainian identity. The changes also come in the context of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which has led to a heightened sense of nationalism in Ukraine.
How does this affect organisations?
Organisations in Ukraine will need to update their calendars and leave policies to reflect the new public holidays. They may also need to make arrangements to ensure that their operations are not disrupted on the new holidays.
How does this affect people?
People in Ukraine will have more opportunities to celebrate their national holidays under the new arrangements. However, they will also need to be aware of the changes to the dates of the holidays.
How revolutionary is this?
It is common for countries to change their public holidays from time to time. However, the changes in Ukraine are particularly significant because they are being made in the context of conflict with Russia.
Do businesses need to do anything to meet this change?
Yes, businesses in Ukraine will need to update their calendars and leave policies to reflect the new public holidays. They may also need to make arrangements to ensure that their operations are not disrupted on the new holidays.
The changes to public holidays in Ukraine are a significant development, both symbolically and practically. Organisations and people in Ukraine will need to be aware of the changes and make necessary arrangements.
Cintra Global can help organisations in Ukraine to meet the challenges of the new public holidays. We offer a range of services, including:
- Updating leave policies and calendars
- Making arrangements for business continuity on public holidays
- Providing advice on how to comply with Ukrainian employment law
Get in touch
If you need help with the new public holidays in Ukraine, please contact us today.