On February 24th, the German Economic Team and the Center for Economic Strategy, Kyiv, jointly organised an online-event on the implications of the Covid-19 crisis on labour market flexibility.
In total, the event counted 45 participants, including:
- Natalia Baydan, CEO Planeta Kino
- Olena Melnyk, Deputy Head, Department of Labour Market Policy, State Employment Agency
- Svetlana Mikhaylovska, Deputy Director, European Business Association (EBA)
- Hanna Sakhno, Economist, Centre for Economic Strategy,
- David Saha, Consultant, German Economic Team
The event was moderated by Maria Repko, Deputy Director of the Centre for Economic Strategy. After an introduction by Robert Kirchner, Deputy Team Leader of the German Economic Team, David Saha presented an analysis of labour market adaptivity in six transformation economies. All transition economies in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia share a tightly regulated labour market, as well as limited fiscal space. Ukraine is no exception, although it was the only country that launched a limited furlough scheme for SMEs. As a consequence, job cuts were the instrument of choice, although imperfectly applied, as labour market rigidity resulted in high costs for companies. Thus, adding flexibility to the Ukrainian labour market, as well as extending the partial unemployment furlough scheme should be considered policy options.
After the presentations, a lively discussion followed with representatives of Ukrainian businesses and associations.