(Unofficial translation)

 

Law of the Republic of Belarus

No 1605-XII of April 22, 1992
[Amended as of July 13, 2016]

On Trade Unions

CHAPTER 1
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Trade unions

Trade union is a voluntary public association associating citizens of the Republic of Belarus, foreign citizens and stateless persons (hereinafter, unless otherwise established – citizens), including students of institutions of professional-technical, special secondary and higher education, connected by common interests by their line of activity, both in production and commercial spheres, in order to protect working, social and economic rights and interests.

Article 2. Right of citizens to associate in trade unions

Citizens of the Republic of Belarus have the right to create voluntarily trade unions by their choice, as well as join trade unions subject to observance of their statutes.

Foreign citizens and stateless persons may join trade unions created and acting in the territory of the Republic of Belarus if it is provided by their statutes.

Trade unions may set up, on a voluntary basis, republican and other unions (amalgamations) and other associations (hereinafter - associations of trade unions) possessing rights of trade unions, also join them.

Republican associations of trade unions may set up the order provided by statutes territorial (regional, city, district) and other organizational structures possessing rights of trade unions.

Trade unions (associations of trade unions) and their organizational structures are legal entities in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and their statutes.

Article 3. Independence of trade unions

Trade unions carry out their activity in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, this Law and other acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus.  Activity of trade unions may be restricted in the instances provided by legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus in the interests of national security, public order or ensuring rights and freedoms of other persons.

Trade unions independently work out and approve their statutes, determine the structure, elect governing bodies, organize their activity, hold meetings, conferences, sessions, congresses.

Trade unions (associations of trade unions), their symbols, changes and additions being introduced in their statutes are subject to state registration in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

accord with their statutory purposes and tasks, trade unions have the right to co-operate with trade unions of other countries and, at their own choice, join international and other trade union associations and organizations.

Article 4. Prohibition of discrimination of citizens by their trade union affiliation

Affiliation or non-affiliation of citizens to trade unions shall not entail any restrictions of their labour, social, economic, political or personal rights and freedoms, guaranteed by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 5. Termination or suspension of activities of trade unions

Termination of activities of a trade union may be carried out according to a decision of its members in the order stipulated in the statute of the given trade union.

In the instances when activities of trade unions (trade union associations) contradict the Constitution or other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, it may be suspended for a period of up to six months or terminated with respect of republican trade unions and their associations by a judgement of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus upon an application of the Public Prosecutor-General of the Republic of Belarus, and with respect of territorial trade unions – by a judgement of the court upon an application presentation of the public prosecutor of the given administrative and territorial unit.

Article 6. Interaction of bodies of state administration, controlling (supervising) bodies and trade unions

Development and improvement of social partnership system, forms and methods of interaction of trade unions (associations of trade unions), employers (their associations) and bodies of state administration shall be one of priority tasks of social and economic policy of the Republic of Belarus.

Trade unions take part in development and implementation of social and economic policy of the state.

Trade unions have are entitled to make proposals to bodies of state administration about adoption, modification or repeal of acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus on labour and social economic issues.  Normative legal acts concerning labour and socio-economic rights and interests of citizens (with the exception of normative legal acts containing state secrets) shall be adopted by state bodies upon prior notification of relevant trade unions (associations of trade unions).

Trade unions, through their authorized representatives, have a right to participate in the work of collective bodies of ministries and other republican bodies of state administration, sessions of local executive and administrative bodies, governing bodies of organizations in the order established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus in coordination with relevant trade unions.

Republican and local budgets may allocate means for implementation, by proposals of corresponding republican or regional associations of trade unions, of state-wide and local programs (educational, scientific-research, cultural and enlightening, sporting and recreational, informational, etc.) aimed at realization of constitutional rights and guarantees of citizens.

Trade unions interact, when carrying out public control, with bodies of state administration, controlling (supervising) bodies and other organizations.

Article 7. Representative capacity of trade unions

Bases for representative capacity of republican trade unions (associations of trade unions) and organizational structures in bodies of state administration shall be:

availability of relevant elective, leading and executive bodies and their authority in accordance with norms of statutes and requirements of legislation of the Republic of Belarus;

data of annual intra-trade-union statistical reports on the structure and membership, as well as aggregated financial reports.

Upon availability of the mentioned bases, republican trade unions (associations of trade unions) and their organizational structures, including primary organizations established at organizations, shall possess all powers provided by this Law and ensure protection of labour, socio-economic rights and interests of members of trade unions on corresponding levels.

Republican trade unions (associations of trade unions) and their organizational structures, including primary organizations established at organizations, which do not possess bases of representative capacity, shall defend interests of their members within the limits of powers provided by legislation of the Republic of Belarus, also by means of joining (upon consent of the parties) collective agreements concluded by more representative trade unions or their associations.

Article 8. Legislation of the Republic of Belarus on trade unions, their rights and guarantees for their activities

Legislation of the Republic of Belarus on trade unions, their rights and guarantees for their activities is based on the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and consists of this Law and other acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

This Law covers all organizations situated in the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

Peculiarities of application of this Law in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, other troops and military formations of the Republic of Belarus, bodies of internal affairs of the Republic of Belarus, the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the State Committee of Forensic Examinations of the Republic of Belarus, bodies of financial investigation of the State Control Committee of the Republic of Belarus, bodies and divisions for emergency situations of the Republic of Belarus shall be determined by relevant legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 9. Correlation of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on trade unions and norms of international law

Norms regulating activities of trade unions contained in treaties of the Republic of Belarus is a part of the legislation, in force in the territory of the Republic of Belarus, on trade unions and are subject to direct application, except for cases when a treaty stipulates that application of such norms requires adoption of an intrastate act.

If a treaty of the Republic of Belarus establishes other rules than those contained in this Law, the rules of the treaty are applied.

CHAPTER 2
BASIC RIGHTS OF TRADE UNIONS

Article 10. Rights of trade unions to protect labour rights of citizens

Trade unions shall protect labour rights of their members, take part in the development of state policy for employment, put in proposals for social protection of persons laid off from organizations in accordance with a collective contract (agreement) and legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Trade unions shall protect labour rights of citizens – members of trade unions upon conclusion or rescission of labour contracts, acquaint newly employed persons with the content of the collective contract (agreement) and the statute of the legal person.

When exercising public control in the form of holding inspections of observance of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on labour, legal labour inspectors have the right, in the order determined by the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, to demand from employers in the interests of an employee – member of the trade union to change terms and conditions of labour agreement (contract) in case of non-compliance of the labour agreement (contract) with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, collective contract (agreement).

When exercising public control in the form of holding events on observation, analysis, assessment of the observance of labour and socio-economic rights of citizens (monitoring), participation in the work of collective bodies, commissions and in other forms provided for by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, collective contracts (agreements), not connected with holding inspections (hereinafter – public control in the forms not connected with holding inspections), of the observance of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on labour, trade unions are entitled, in the order established by republican associations of trade unions, to issue the employer a recommendation on elimination of established violations of acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus, collective contract (agreement).

In the instances provided for by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, rescission of a labour agreement (contract) on the initiative of the employer shall be carried out after a previous, but not later than at two weeks, notification of the respective trade union. In the instances provided by collective contracts (agreements), rescission of a labour contract on the initiative of the employer may be made only upon a prior consent of the respective trade union.

Liquidation or reorganization of organizations, their structural units, full and partial suspension of production on the initiative of the employer, owner or a governing body authorized by the latter, leading to staff reduction or worsening of working conditions, may be carried out only subject to prior notification (not later than three months in advance) of the respective trade unions and holding negotiations with them regarding observance of rights and interests of citizens.

Article 11. Rights of trade unions on social protection of citizens’

Trade unions are entitled, in accord with legislation of the Republic of Belarus,  to participate in the development of social programs aimed at creation of conditions ensuring proper living standards and free development of individual, as well as measures for social protection of citizens, in determination of main criteria of the living standard, amount of indexation of wages, salaries, pensions, allowances and compensations in accord with a change of price index, in solution of questions related to health rehabilitation and medical service of citizens, as well as to exercise public control over observance of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on social protection of citizens.

Trade unions shall, in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, take part in accepting on record of citizens being in need of improving housing conditions, distribution of dwelling premises, and also, in the instances stipulated by collective contracts (agreements) – in distribution of means intended four housing construction.

Trade unions exercise public control in the forms not connected with holding inspections over record keeping of citizens being in need of improvement of housing conditions, establishing priority for improvement of housing conditions, distribution of dwelling premises in state bodies, other organizations.

Article 12. Participation of trade unions in solution of issues of privatization of state property and transformation of state unitary enterprises in open joint stock companies

Trade unions exercise public control in the forms not connected with holding inspections over observance of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on issues of privatization of state property and transformation of state unitary enterprises in open joint stock companies.

In the instances when trade unions are authorized representatives of workers, they are entitled, in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, to participate in privatization of state property and transformation of state in open joint stock companies, to have their representatives in commissions being created on privatization of state property and transformation of state unitary enterprises in open joint stock companies.

Article 13. Rights of trade unions in the field of safety of labour

Trade unions exercise public control over observance of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on safety of labour in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Trade unions shall have a right, in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, to participate in expert examination of safety labour conditions on industrial facilities being designed, under construction or operated, as well as of machinery and tools being designed or operated, in attesting of jobs according to labour conditions.

Trade unions are entitled to participate in the development of state programs on issues of safety of labour, as well as other normative documents regulating issues of safety of labour, preventive treatment occupational diseases and ecological safety.

When exercising public control in the form of holding inspection of the observance of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on safety of labour, technical inspectors of labour of trade unions have the right, in the order determined by the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, to demand from the employer to eliminate violations of the requirements on safety of labour threatening the life and health of workers, in in case of a direct threat to their life and health – suspending by that employer of execution of works, including activity of shops (industrial divisions), equipment till the elimination of violations.

When exercising public control in the forms not connected with holding inspections of the observance of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on safety of labour, trade unions are entitled, in the order established be republican associations of trade unions, to issue the employer a recommendation on elimination of established violations of acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus, collective contract (agreement), requirements on safety of labour threatening  the life and health of workers.

Article 14. Right of trade union on holding negotiations, conclusion of collective contracts (agreements)

Trade unions (associations of trade unions), their organizational structures have a right to hold collective negotiations, and conclude collective contracts (agreements) in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Negotiations and reports on fulfilment of concluded collective contracts (agreements) with trade unions shall be held publicly.

Article 15. Right of trade unions to conclude agreements in social and labour sphere

Trade unions may conclude with respective employers (their associations), bodies of state administration, agreements on protection of labour and social rights and interests of their members, determination of main living standards, amount of compensations depending on the growth of prices, establishment of a living minimum and timely review of the amount of pensions, allowances and grants in depending on the price index, on control over fulfilment of those measures, as well as on other issues in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 16. Right of trade unions to exercise public control over fulfilment of collective contract (agreement)

Trade unions shall exercise public control over fulfilment of the collective contract (agreement).

When exercising public control in the form of holding inspection of the fulfilment of the collective contract (agreement), legal and technical inspectors of labour of trade unions have the right, in the order determined by legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, demand from a party of the collective contract (agreement) to eliminate detected violations of the collective contract (agreement).

When exercising public control in the forms not connected with holding inspections of the fulfilment of the collective contract (agreement), trade unions are entitled, in the order established be republican associations of trade unions, to issue a party of the collective contract (agreement) a recommendation on elimination of detected violations of acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus, collective contract (agreement).

Article 17. Powers of trade unions in the field of social security and social insurance

Trade unions are entitled to represent and protect rights and interests of citizens in state bodies on issues of social security and social insurance, to exercise public control over their activity in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 18. Powers of trade unions in the field of health protection

Trade unions shall exercise public control in the forms not connected with holding inspections in the field of health protection in the instances established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Trade unions manage sanatoria and health-resort and rehabilitation organizations being in their ownership  (jurisdiction), help with their monetary and other material means in creation and organization of work of sanatoria and health resorts, recreation facilities, belonging to organizations, take part in the development of mass physical culture, sport and tourism.

On the basis of agreements with the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, bodies of state administration,  and republican association of employers, trade unions shall, at the cost of trade unions’ means and profit of employers, organize work on improvement of sanatoria and health-resort treatment and development of institutions for recreation, tourism, mass physical culture and sport, tourism using material and technical base being in ther ownership (jurisdiction).

Article 19. Right of trade unions to exercise public control over observance of legislation of the Republic of Belarus on labour and trade unions

Legal inspectors of trade unions have the right, in the order determined by the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, to exercise public control in the form of holding inspections over observance by the employer, owner or a governing body empowered by them of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on labour and trade unions and to demand elimination of detected violations.

When exercising public control in the forms not connected with holding inspections over observance of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on of labour and trade unions, trade unions are entitled, in the order established be republican associations of trade unions, to issue the employer a recommendation on elimination of established violations of acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus, collective contract (agreement).

At the request of its members or other citizens, trade unions are entitled to apply to the court with a statement of action for protection of  their labour and social and economic rights and interests. For those purposes, trade unions may create own legal services, other necessary bodies the competence of which is determined by statutes of trade unions and acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

For protection of labour and socio-economic rights and interests of their members, trade unions have the right to create services of fiduciary doctors the competence of which is determined by acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 20. Right of trade unions to information

In accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, trade unions are entitled to receive from employers (their associations), economic entities and also from bodies of state administration information on issued related to labour and social and economic development, within the limits of the established statistical reports.

Alongside with other public associations, trade unions have a right to use state-owned mass media.

Trade unions have a right to cover their activities in mass media in the order established by the the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, may be founders of mass media, conduct sociological research, have their own scientific, information and training-and-research centers.

The right of trade unions to information shall be exercised in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 21. Right of trade unions in the field of education

Trade unions have the right to create in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus institutions of secondary special, and higher education, centers of advanced training managers and specialists, centers for training, advanced training and retraining of workers, to realize in accordance with the legislation of the Republic on education research educational programs of additional education for adults.

Article 22. Right of trade unions to declare strikes

Trade unions have the right to organize and conduct strikes in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

While conducting strikes on the initiative of trade unions, it is prohibited to  make political demands.

CHAPTER 3
GUARANTEES OF TRADE UNIONS’ RIGHTS

Article 23. Duties of employers (their associations), state bodies, economic entities, public associations and officials with respect to trade unions

Employers (their associations), state bodies, economic entities, public associations and officials are obliged to observe the rights of trade unions.  The mentioned bodies and persons shall bear liability for infringement of trade unions’ rights and obstructing their lawful activities,  in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Employers (their associations), state bodies, economic entities, public associations and officials are not entitled to prevent representatives of trade unions from visiting organizations where members of those trade unions work, unless otherwise established by the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 24. Guarantees of rights of trade unions’ workers

If a trade union is a participant of a concluded collective contract (agreement), then trade union workers shall be granted the following guarantees (unless otherwise stipulated by that contract (agreement)):

rescission of the labour contract on the initiative of the employer (except for cases caused by guilty actions of the worker) with workers elected as members of trade union's bodies and not released from work, is allowed only with a prior written notice (not later than two moths in advance) of the trade union's body member of which the are elected;

rescission of a labour contract on the initiative of the employer (except for cases caused by guilty actions of the worker) with workers elected as leaders of trade union's  bodies and not released from work, is allowed only with a prior consent of the higher trade union body;

persons elected as members of trade union's bodies  are granted a privileged right to stay at work during reduction of the number workers or staff reduction under other equal conditions;

workers released from work because of their election to elected positions in trade union’s bodies shall be given their previous job (position) upon expiration of their term power, and ff no such job is available – another equal job (position) at the same organization;

bringing to disciplinary liability of representatives of trade unions authorized in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus to carry out public control and workers empowered by the trade union to participate in created commissions for collective negotiations, consideration of labour disputes, conciliation commissions, is allowed only with a prior consent of the trade union body;

collective contract (agreement) may stipulate additional guarantees for workers elected to trade union's bodies.

Released trade union workers shall have same social and labour rights and privileges as other employees of the organization in accordance with the collective contract (agreement).

Article 25. Conduct by trade unions of mass events

For purposes of their statutory tasks, trade unions have a right to organize and conduct, in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, meetings, street marches, demonstrations and other collective actions to protect interests of their members.

Article 26. Protection of trade unions’ rights

Protection of trade unions’ rights is carried out in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.  Unlawful restriction of trade unions’ rights and creation of obstacles for their implementing their powers are not allowed.

Article 27. Ownership of trade unions

Trade unions own, use and dispose of property and monetary means, belonging to them on the right of ownership, in accordance with civil legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Trade unions may have in ownership capital constructions (buildings, structures), sanatoria and health-resort organizations, organizations of physical culture and sport, tourism, educational and cultural organizations, institutions of special secondary and higher education, centers of advanced training managers and specialists, centers for training, advanced training and retraining of workers, and other organizations, housing fund, publishing houses, printing offices, as well as securities and other property necessary for execution of statutory activities of trade unions.

Trade unions shall not be liable on obligations of other public associations, state bodies, bodies of local self-government, organizations, which in their turn shall not be liable on obligations of trade unions.

Sources, procedure of formation and use of means of trade unions’ budgets shall be determined by statutes of trade unions.

Sources of incomes of organizations belonging to trade unions, amount of revenues received by them and tax payments shall be controlled by financial and tax bodied in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

In accordance with their statutory objectives and tasks, trade unions have the right to carry out, in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, commercial  activities, form necessary solidarity foundations and other foundations.

Article 28. Creation of proper conditions by the employer for trade unions’ activities

The employer shall allocate to trade unions acting at the organization, for use equipment, premises, transport and communications means necessary for their activities in accordance with a contract (agreement).

The employer is entitled to transfer in use of trade unions capital constructions (buildings, structures), isolated premises, parts thereof, other property belonging to him on the right of ownership, economic management, operative administration, necessary for organizing  the rest, conducting cultural and enlightening, sporting and recreational work with workers and members of their families.  Maintenance, repair, heating, lighting, cleaning, protection and other service and furnishing of the mentioned objects shall be carried out in compliance with a contract (agreement).

List of objects and amount of deductions of means to trade unions for their conducting socio-cultural and other work in the organization shall be determined in the order and on conditions established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, collective contract (agreement).

Article 29. Liability of trade unions

Trade union which inflicted by its unlawful actions harm to the state, natural or legal persons is obliged to reimburse it in the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

 

 

Chairperson of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus

S. Shushkevich

 

*unofficial translation*