Recognition of Ukrainian qualifications still difficult
The European Commission has issued recommendations to member states to simplify the administrative procedure and ensure a speedy recognition of the professional qualifications of Ukrainians seeking refuge in the EU.
Among the refugees coming from Ukraine because of the war are many qualified employees, such as teachers or doctors. However, due to complex procedures for the recognition of diplomas, they usually cannot practice their profession. If they need to start work quickly, they often have to take unskilled jobs, at least for the time being.
Since many refugees were unable to take all their necessary documents with them, the Commission calls upon the member states to also accept documents that are not originals (e.g. digital copies), not to require certified translations and, where possible, to remove other obstacles, by, e.g., waiving fees for applying for the recognition of qualifications. The Commission also calls for a flexible approach and the elimination of any restrictions and requirements that are not strictly necessary for the recognition of qualifications.
The recommendation is not binding upon the member states. Currently, the Czech Republic recognises the qualifications of, e.g., workers in children's groups: they have been allowed to work thanks to Lex Ukraine. Another group under discussion is that of health professionals: the Ministry of Health has issued methodological instructions on the employment of health professionals from the ranks of medical and non-medical staff. Its wording is available here.
If refugees are allowed to work in positions corresponding to their qualifications, it will benefit key sectors of economy where there is currently a shortage of skilled labour. At the same time, it will protect refugees from being used as cheap labour by unreliable employers or intermediary agencies.
Until the system of recognition of qualifications for specific professions is regulated as is the case for workers in children's groups, employers have to proceed in a standard manner.