Ukrainians on earnings: life and work abroad

2019 | 02 | 25 2151

The interest of European employers in workers from our country is increasing from year to year. But Ukrainians who go to Europe to earn money often speak negatively about working and living conditions far from their native land. Sometimes migrants are forced to live in cramped conditions and work above the norm. According to the latest statistics, the foreigners make a significant contribution to total GDP - more than 6%. This indicator affects the position of the economy, the rate of the national currency.

The number of citizens who decide to go to work in search of financial freedom, is increasing every year. Most of the low-skilled workers, students and experienced professionals leave for earnings in the nearest European countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland. How well migrants earn, in what conditions of life they live, whether they have social guarantees - this is our material.

How many Ukrainians work abroad?

There is no official statistical information about how many citizens of Ukraine left for work in Europe, Russia, the USA, Canada. This fact is explained by the fact that the border service only fixes the process of crossing the border. According to the data of the State Employment Service, approximately 5 million of our citizens work abroad. This figure is impressive and equals the number of the population of Ireland. Who do the Ukrainians go to work with?

  • more than 40% are building construction workers, they are going to work on the
  • construction of private houses, infrastructure facilities, hotels;
  • 23% of Ukrainians live in earnings from seasonal work: they pick strawberries, apples, other vegetables, fruits;
  • 10% of the total number of employees are governess, nanny, housekeepers, cleaners;
  • less than 10% work as carers in medical institutions and at home, caring for patients and people with disabilities.

According to the National Bank of Ukraine, the dynamics of deposits of foreigners in the Ukrainian economy is showing steady growth. If in 1996, Ukrainians earned more than $ 350 million abroad, then after 20 years - in 2016, this figure increased significantly and reached an impressive mark of $ 7 billion.

            According to the head of the Committee of Economists of our country, Ukrainians who leave for work from the beginning of the independence period of Ukraine transfer substantial currency flows to their homeland. This dynamic makes it possible to keep the national currency rate more or less stable. In addition, Ukrainians returning from earnings often open their own businesses, which means new jobs are emerging, the economy is developing. Sadly, the colossal outflow of workers in various specialties reduces intellectual resources. It is logical that as long as wages in Germany, Poland, Russia are higher, the dynamics of the outflow of Ukrainians will continue.

Where do migrants work and how much do they get paid?

            According to the expert analyst of the web resource T. Pashkina, the largest number of vacancies for Ukrainian citizens are opened by Polish employers. In the neighboring European country there is a shortage of labor resources, therefore Polish companies are interested in the Ukrainian labor force. In Poland, there are more than 1 million of our compatriots earning money.

To further attract them, the Polish government plans to improve working conditions and extend the validity of visas. According to the stories of Ukrainians who were working in Poland, employers often do not pay their salaries in full, sometimes they detain and do not formalize an employee.

  • Ukrainians seeking financial freedom in Poland receive about 15-20 thousand UAH. Nannies, staff caring for the disabled and sick, can count on the minimum payment - 12 thousand UAH per month. Truck drivers are counting on a rate of 30 thousand UAH. Polish employers are interested in handymen, seamstresses, packers for textile factories
  • In Germany, waiting for construction workers. Medical personnel, truckers, taxi drivers, handymen are in demand here. The income of Ukrainians in Germany is higher - from 30 thousand UAH. It is interesting that many migrant workers, having mastered in Poland, go to work in German companies.
  • The Czech Republic is also open to workers from our country. Handicrafts and low qualifications specialists are in demand here. The government encourages the labor flows of our fellow citizens. In early February 2017, the quota for Ukrainian workers was doubled. The average salary in the Czech Republic - 25 thousand UAH.

Israel accepts construction workers and housekeepers. The average salary is 20 thousand UAH. In America and Canada, the level of payment is 2 times higher than in European countries. In America, the demand for construction specialties, staff in hotels, animators. At industrial enterprises, workers are paid an average of 80 thousand UAH, drivers - more than 120 thousand UAH. Ukrainians working in Canada in the agricultural sector receive from 75 thousand UAH, employees engaged in construction - from 80 thousand UAH, and truckers - from 130 thousand UAH.

            It is interesting to note that labor flows to the Russian Federation are gradually decreasing. This is due to the change in the economic situation in Russia and the unfavorable exchange rate of the ruble. The average salary is 7-12 thousand UAH. not attractive to Ukrainians who go to work. The run-up of wages is quite wide: a cutter of fur products is offered a rate of 70 thousand UAH, and the salary of an agronomist in the north is about 10 thousand UAH. According to recent polls, only 6% of our fellow citizens are planning to go to Russia to earn money.

How do the workers living away from their homeland live?

Every fifth guest worker is dissatisfied with the living conditions while staying at work away from their homeland. Life does not suit 19% of Ukrainian citizens who have left to work in European countries, and 30% - to the Russian Federation. Usually housing is provided by the company-employer: free of charge or for a nominal fee. Migrants live in cramped conditions for several people together: in construction trailers or dormitories. More responsible employers offer employees separate rooms for a fee

According to the Ukrainian L. Kovalenko, who worked in Russia, the living and working conditions of Ukrainians and Russian citizens at the same factory are significantly different. Our compatriots provide only 1 day off per week. The duration of the working day is 12 hours, whereas for Russians it is 8. Lyudmila says that they lived on earnings in old construction trailers. If the conditions of life are not satisfied, the company-employer offered the mortgage worker to become a citizen of the Russian Federation in order to improve them. But Lyudmila did not agree.

            She also told a detailed account of the conditions of everyday life in Russia. At first she worked in a construction company in the Moscow region. She was settled in a close pantry, where there was only a bed, and although there was a lock on the door, it did not work. But it was far from the worst option, since the closet was located next to the shower and the bathroom.

            Our compatriot with colleagues improved living conditions as best they could. With a regular salary, migrant workers threw off to buy a washing machine. Half a year ago, the mortgage worker found another job with better pay and better living conditions. Now she lives in a spacious room with furniture, TV, heating.

  As T. Pashkina says, the conditions of life are determined by the employer's good faith:

  • animators, staff of restaurants and hotels in America and the UAE are lodged in hotels;
  • workers of construction specialties live in trailers: heated and not - how lucky;
  • at industrial enterprises, workers are provided with a hostel where several people live in a room.

The worst situation is with living seasonally employed in the agricultural sector. They are hired for 3-4 months, providing inhuman living conditions. People lodge in old premises, but responsible and conscientious employers place employees in modern hostels.

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