Ukraine

Country at a glance
Policy framework
General situation across all policy areas
Social policy specific situation
Good practice

Country at a glance (2020)

Population (mio) including Crimea
41,588  (as of 01/01/2020)
Geographical size (sq km)
603,500
557,5 *
Capital city
Kyiv
EU relation
Eastern Partnership (EaP) country – since May 2009

Source: European Neighbourhood Policy And Enlargement Negotiations

* Without taking into account temporary occupied territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts, Autonomous Republic Crimea and Sevastopol

Policy Framework

  • Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine (September, 2014),
  • The Action Plan of the Government for 2021 (March, 2021),
  • Human development strategy (April, 2021),
  • The State Program on Prevention and Combating of Domestic Violence and Gender-based Violence up to 2025 (February, 2021),
  • National Action Plan for Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 “Women, Peace and Security” for the period up to 2025 (October, 2020),
  • Strategy for Sustainable Development “Ukraine 2030” (September, 2019),
  • The State Social Program on Providing Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men up to 2021 (April, 2018),
  • Strategy of the State Policy on Healthy and Active Longevity of the Population for the Period up to 2022 (January, 2018),
  • Human Rights Strategy of Ukraine (August, 2015).

General situation across all policy areas

Main challenges across all policy areas

The main activities of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine in 2020:

  • improvement of the pension provision;
  • support for the vulnerable groups of the population;
  • improvement of the housing subsidies programs;
  • simplifying of the social assistance provision procedure;
  • strengthening of the social protection for the persons with disabilities;
  • social payments provision for the internally displaced persons;
  • strengthening of the social protection of the insured citizens of Ukraine and single elderly people;
  • protection of the children’s rights;
  • combating trafficking in human being,
  • combating violence against women and domestic violence domestic violence,
  • gender equality.

Social policy specific situation

Significant social trends

During 2020 there was a steady increase in state social standards and cash incomes of citizens.

Nominal incomes of population in 2020 increased by 6.1 % compared to 2019.

The increase in income was provided, in particular, by raising state social standards and guarantees.

The subsistence minimum increased by 8.0 %. In line with the increase in the Subsistence Minimum, the size of the basic state social guarantees determined on its base was increased.

The minimum wage increased by 19.8 %. Since January 2021, the minimum wage is 6,000 UAH, which is 27 % higher than the value of 2020.

The average monthly salary in 2020 compared to 2019 increased by 10.4 % and amounted to UAH 11 591 while real wages increased by 7,4%.

The average pension in 2020 increased by 13.8 % compare to 2019. On January, 1 it amounted to 3,508 UAH.

In order to prevent poverty and fulfill the main tasks of solving the problem of poverty, the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy has been ensured, which has had a positive impact on the poverty situation.

However, as a result of the deteriorating socio-economic situation caused by the quarantine due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty rates have increased slightly in 2020.

The poverty rate in absolute criteria (incomes below the actual subsistence minimum) is increase by 1.1 percentage points over the 9 months of 2020, up to 25.4% from 24.3% in the previous year.

 

Key challenges specific to social policy

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected welfare of the most part of population, namely it resulted in:

  • loss of income of the most number of entrepreneurs due to lockdown during Covid-19 pandemic;
  • inability of part of the population to pay their own utility bills due to low incomes and high tariffs;
  • inability internally displaced persons to carry out checks on the actual place of residence / stay when assigning (renewing) social benefits;
  • increased danger at work for health care and social workers.

Other challenges related to social cohesion/social rights in 2020:

  • low level of pension provision for most citizens;
  • budget deficit of the Pension Fund of Ukraine;
  • high levels of poverty due to low incomes of vulnerable groups;
  • anti-terrorist operation on the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts caused by Russian military aggression against Ukraine during more than 7 years leads to numerous losses of lives of Ukrainian citizens,
  • forced displacement of citizens from the temporarily occupied territory in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts caused 1.5 million Ukrainians to lose their jobs, incomes and property.

Main approaches to address social policy challenges

Due to the spread of coronavirus disease COVID-19 anti-crisis measures have been taken to strengthen the social protection.

Pensions and state social benefits are reassigned automatically without submitting the necessary documents during the quarantine period and one month after the date of completion, in particular for low-income families; families with children; persons with disabilities.

It was provided a lump-sum payment of 1000 hryvnas for pensioners and recipients of special benefits whose benefit’ size does not exceed 5 thousand hryvnas; the monthly compensation payment of 500 hryvnas for the pensioners over the age of 80 years was provided (almost 1,5 million persons received such payment); the pensions were indexed by 11 percent for almost 9 million pensioners.

On 1st August 2020, the additional targeted assistance to pension payments was introduced for 10 thousand of the family members of persons died due to injury, mutilation, contusion, or other damage to health received during direct participation in the Anti-Terrorist Operation / Joint Forces Operation.

New type of benefit was introduced during the quarantine period for individual entrepreneurs – payers of the single social contribution.

Such persons received social assistance for each child up to 10 years old at the Subsistence Minimum size for a child of respective age. Almost 90 thousand families received this payment, in total.

Additional administrative and tax benefits were introduced to citizens and business.

During 2020 the Pension Fund of Ukraine has provided a lump-sum payment of 8 000 hryvnas for insured citizens: individual entrepreneurs and employees whose activity was interrupted due to the quarantine restrictions. Almost 500 thousand of insured citizens received this payment, in total.

To support individual entrepreneurs and employees in 2021 in the framework of the quarantine restrictions in different regions a lump-sum payment of 8 000 hryvnas was provided at the expense of the state budget, and the local budgets in an amount according to the decision of the local self-government authority. In 2021, 175 thousand persons received this payment.

The mechanism of housing subsidies has been simplified – citizens were provided with housing subsidies as well as additional compensation for utilities, especially those who have lost their jobs due to quarantine.

Payment of social benefits (pensions, all types of social benefits and compensation, financial support, provision of social services) assigned before quarantine measures due to the spread of COVID-19 to internally displaced persons was continued. It is forbidden to carry out checks on the actual place of residence / stay of IDPs when assigning (renewing) social benefits.

The social protection of the insured citizens of Ukraine has been strengthened, in particular the list of insurance cases for which temporary disability assistance has been extended. To insured persons in health care facilities, as well as on self-isolation under medical supervision due to COVID-19, 50 percent of the average income is paid regardless of the contribution period (estimated recipients – 6 million). In addition, a sickness benefit is paid to health care workers as 100 percent of the average income regardless of the contribution period.

The insurance benefits to health care workers in case of disability or death were provided:

  • 300 times of the subsistence minimum for persons having disability;
  • 750 times of the subsistence minimum in case of medical worker’s death.

To support social workers, a supplement has been set for employees of social service providers in the public / communal sector who directly provide social services at the place of residence / stay of their recipients (at home), up to a maximum of 100 percent of salary.

The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine introduced an epidemiological situation monitoring in the social protection institutions, child protection services, child social protection institutions; rehabilitation centers.

The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, together with the National Network of Grocery Stores ATB, provided food kits to single persons and people living alone, aged over 80, elderly in need of care, and persons with disabilities. About 600 thousand citizens were provided with food kits.

In order to create conditions for involvement of charitable, non-governmental organizations, businesses, volunteers to assist single elderly people, persons with disabilities, families with children, including children with disabilities, due to the quarantine period the information platform „Dopomoha Poruch” („Help nearby”) was introduced in April, 2020. The need for assistance is formed at the request of citizens to „hot” telephone lines that work for local authorities.

The National Social Service of Ukraine was established by the Government resolution in August, 2020. It envisages the creation of a new model of cooperation between executive authorities and local governments. The new service should ensure continuity in the implementation of state policy in the field of social protection and protection of children’s rights, as well as state control over legal requirements for social protection provision and children rights protection.

The Government has adopted 8 draft laws, 17 resolutions and decrees to support orphans, children deprived of parental care, children in difficult life circumstances, and to improve the mechanisms of assistance to families with children.

Target groups

Citizens of Ukraine.

Good practice

Policy area

Digitisation of the social sphere is a national project in Ukraine to improve the quality of social support to citizens.

Description of the practice

The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine is currently implementing the largest digital project in modern Ukraine so called ,,Action”. The aim of the project is to unite all departments into a single convenient and effective online system and make communication between citizens and businesses with the state convenient and transparent. 

It is planned that by 2024, 100 percent of public services will be available online. At the same time, one of the goals is to abandon the use of paper documents.

On September 21, 2020, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine has introduced a new Strategy for Digital Transformation of the Social Sphere, which will create a unified information environment of the social sphere that shows how our government contributes to social cohesion by using digital technologies.

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine by the Resolution of the of April 14, 2021 № 404 approved the Regulations on the Unified Information System of the Social Sphere which will provide:

– creation of a single information base of the social sphere and the accumulative system of compulsory state pension insurance, particularly through the interaction of information resources of state social protection institutions, subjects of the accumulative system of compulsory state pension insurance and their information interactions with other state information resources, including state registers ;

– automation, standardisation, unification, monitoring, control and elimination of duplication of business processes and functions of social protection institutions, due to the centralisation of these processes and functions;

– standardisation, automation, centralised accounting and monitoring of applicants’ appeals to social protection institutions, subjects of the accumulative system of compulsory state pension insurance;

– implementation of automated monitoring and control of all financial transactions in the social sphere;

– administration of the accumulative system of general turnover of the state pension insurance.

The main task of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine is the implementation of the Program Complex so called “Social Community” since June 1, 2021.

The task of the project ,,Social Community is to test the technology of forming the Unified Social Register of Ukrainian citizens on the basis of the register of insured persons.

As part of the pilot project, the following electronic services will be provided:

– online application for state social assistance;

– online display of information contained in the certificate of compulsory state social insurance and in the pension certificate;

– display of information in electronic form about a person’s disability (group, subgroup, reason for disability and the term for which it is assigned) according to the Unified Social Register;

– formation in electronic form of certificates of salary, paid insurance premiums, the amount of pension;

In addition, Ukraine became the first country in the world in which digital passports in smartphones became complete legal analogues of ordinary paper documents.

Ukraine also the fourth country in Europe to have a digital driver’s license. The relevant law was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on March 30, and the law will come into force on August 23, 2021.

 A lot of work should be done in the future which involves the change in a large number of law provisions, digitize of many more services streamline the work of state registers, provide technical capabilities and data protection.

Name of the partner& contact

Ms Olena Tarasiuk
State expert, Directorate for Strategic Planning, Coordination and European Integration
o.p.tarasiuk@mlsp.gov.ua

Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine
8/ 10, Esplanadna St., 01601 Kyiv, Ukraine