The constitutional right to rest is ensured, in particular, by granting annual leave. Its minimum duration, as well as other conditions for exercising this right, are determined by law. But self-employed persons, including lawyers, cannot exercise this right today.
People’s deputies proposed to correct this situation in draft No. 10357 dated 18.12.2023 “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Vacations” Regarding Regulation of the Right of Self-Employed Persons to Receive Vacations,” the text of which recently appeared on the website of the Verkhovna Rada.
As a reminder, according to subsection 14.1.226 of the Tax Code, a self-employed person is a tax payer who is an individual entrepreneur or carries out independent professional activity. The latter includes the activities of lawyers, provided that such a person is not an employee or sole trader and uses the hired labor of no more than four individuals.
A lawyer can practice law individually or in the organizational and legal forms of a lawyer’s office or a lawyer’s association. A lawyer who practices law individually is a self-employed person (Articles 4.13 of the Law “On Advocacy and Advocacy”).
Project No. 10375 proposes to establish that self-employed persons have the right to an annual basic vacation lasting one calendar month.
They can exercise this right by submitting an application regarding the period of annual leave before the start of such leave in an arbitrary form to the tax service body at the place of registration.
The authors of the legislative initiative explain that today the Law on Vacations regulates the right to vacations only for citizens of Ukraine who are in labor relations with legal entities or work under an employment contract with a natural person.
The corresponding right for self-employed persons is regulated only partially, namely, natural persons-entrepreneurs of groups 1 and 2 have the opportunity to suspend their activities and receive so-called tax holidays. As for the very concept of “vacation”, it is not mentioned in the provisions of the Tax Code and is used purely conditionally. What is mentioned in the norms of the Tax Code is more appropriate to call “tax vacation” or “tax holiday”.
But natural persons-entrepreneurs of the 3rd and 4th groups, as well as persons engaged in independent professional activity, today are generally deprived of the opportunity to issue the right to rest.