Employment Law in Russia

Employment Law in Russia

Updated on Wednesday 04th December 2019

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employment_law_in_russia.jpg.jpgIn Russia, the Employment Law is based on the Russian Labor Code adopted in February 2002. The Russian Labor Code establishes the rights of an employee and of the employer. The Employment Law applies to all types of companies, national or foreign, but also to all employees regardless their citizenship.

If you want to start a business and you need details about the employment contract, our lawyers in Russia can offer that information.
Our Russian lawyers can guide both employers and employees in matters related to the Labor Code.

The main employment regulations in Russia


Employment is an important aspect when starting a business in Russia, however, it is also important to note that the country relies on many industries which imply specific work regulations for certain categories of employees. This is why, while the Employment Act is the main law governing labor relations between employers and employees, there are other regulations to follow when hiring personnel in Russia.
Here are the most employment regulations available in Russia:
  1. federal laws and presidential decrees which apply in certain Russian industries;
  2. governmental regulations and legal acts which issued by various executive authorities;
  3. regional and municipal regulations, as well as collective agreements reached between employees and employers;
  4. agreements in specific industries and internal regulations and policies established at company levels.
Foreign investors who want to open companies in Russia need to consider the region they will set up their operations in when it comes to the regional employment regulations. Our Russian lawyers can guide foreign entrepreneurs interested in understanding specific employment regulations.

The applicability of the employment legislation in Russia


The Russian Labor Law applies to both local and foreign worker carrying out a paid activity in this country. Also, the Employment Law recognizes international treaties which might apply to certain conditions in the work contract of foreign employees. These international treaties refer to double taxation agreements which refer to the taxes paid by foreign employees, to international arbitration rules and even to the recognition of foreign judgements.
Also, in accordance with the international regulations on employment, the Russian Labor Code acknowledges the following types of workers:
  • employees hired directly by a company;
  • independent contractors;
  • agency employees (workers hired through recruitment agencies).
Our attorneys in Russia can assist foreign investors interested in opening recruitment agencies in this country.

Parties in employment relations in Russia


The main parties in an employment contracts are the employee who is a natural person and the employer who can be a natural person or company. It is possible for foreign companies to hire Russian citizens through their branches and subsidiaries in Russia, but it is also allowed for these to bring employees from the country of original of the parent company. In the latter case, however, the foreign employees will need Russian work permits, while the foreign companies operating here will need to comply with the Russian Labor Code.
In the case of natural persons acting as employers, these must operate under sole proprietorships registered with the Russian Companies Register.
When it comes to employees, these must be at least 18 years old, however, individuals with ages between 14 and 18 are also entitled to work under special conditions provided that their legal representatives give their consent.

The main purpose of the Russian Labor Code


One of the most important things to consider when it comes to employment in Russia is that the Labor Code is at the core of employment relations and the regulations mentioned above are secondary to the Code.
The Russian Employment Law has the main purpose of establishing equitable relations between employers and employees, guaranteeing the freedom and protecting the rights of companies and their workers.
One of the most important provisions of the Russian Employment Law refers to minimum labor conditions which imply a minimum wage established at a national level (at regional levels, the minimum wage can be different and most of the times higher than the national one), ensuring safe working conditions for the employees granting them the necessary equipment and tools to perform their activities.
Our law firm in Russia can review employment contracts and advise companies on the most important conditions set out in the law.

The Russian employment contract


The employment contract in Russia is an agreement between an employer and an employee. The article 67 in the Russian Labor Code clearly states that the agreement will be concluded in written and individually with every employee. Also, according to article 72, if any amendments appear regarding the work contract, they will be made in writing as well.

The employment contract will contain data like the work schedule, which in Russia is set at eight hours per day, 40 hours per week and 28 vacation days per year. When it comes to overtime, Russian law is very strict, demanding the employee to make a written request.

Russian employment contract is usually made on an indefinite period of time, temporary contracts being agreed upon in just a few cases.

The probation period is established at maximum three months and, in case of dismissal during the trial period, a three-day notice is required. It is also necessary to mention the motive of the dismissal.

The Russian legislation is very strict about the employees’ labor books which should be kept and updated by the employer. The employment books contain important details about the employees’ labor records and the total working years which are very important for the pension level the state will provide to the employees after retirement.

Collective agreements and trade unions in Russia


Collective agreements and trade unions remain two of the most important characteristics of the labor market in Russia especially in large industries, such as manufacturing, production, automotive and natural resources exploitation.
Most of the times, collective agreements offer enhanced protection against staff redundancy, while trade unions can be formed by at least 3 persons in order to protect and negotiate the rights of employees with the management of the company.
No matter the type of agreements signed between employers and employees, all of them must respect the provision of the Labor Code which falls under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection in Russia.
If you need more information on the provisions of the Employment Law, our attorneys in Russia can help you. We can also assist in employment litigation matters which can be resolved amicably.

Internal regulations in companies in Russia


One of the most important provisions of the Employment Law in Russia refers to the employment orders and internal regulations workers must comply with. According to law, all companies in Russia are required to create their own rules employees must abide by. The law provides for two types of rules: mandatory and optional ones. Mandatory regulations refer to:
  • discipline at the workplace;
  • payment of wages;
  • protection of personal data of employees.
The last rule was implemented a few years back, in order to align with the international legislation related to the processing of personal data.
In order to be valid, the mandatory regulations must be issued and accepted by the company directors, they must be in Russian and the employees must be recognized by the employees by signature.

Termination of an employment contract in Russia


Ending a labor contract in Russia may prove difficult once the trial period has concluded. The grounds and proceedings for terminating a contract are specifically enumerated in the Labor Code.
The most common reason for termination in Russia is redundancy. In this case, the worker has the right to a two-month paid notice and a severance package from one to three months. Another reason for termination could be the lack of performance of an employee as stipulated in the Labor Code. Pregnant women and mothers with children younger than 3 years old cannot be dismissed.

The Federal Labor Inspectorate is in charge with the supervision of the employers and it is authorized to investigate labor accidents, administrative issues, but also the violation of the employees’ integrity.
Upon termination of employment with a notice, there are 4 types of situations for employees. These are:
  • company liquidation in which the notice period is 2 months;
  • redundancy where the notice period is 2 months, just like in company liquidation;
  • termination during the probation period when the notice is 3 days;
  • expiration of a fixed-term employment contract with a notice period of 3 days.
There are no notice periods required in other cases, however, the Labor Code provides for other conditions to be met.

For more information on the Employment Law, you may contact our law firm in Russia.