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    Russian employment law applies to all employment relationships in Russia, including those involving Russian nationals, foreign nationals, stateless persons, international organisations, and Russian and foreign legal entities.

    An employment relationship is defined in the Russian Labour Code as the personal performance of an employment function by an individual in return for remuneration. Employment relationships are distinguished from civil law service agreements. If a civil law service agreement includes aspects that can be construed as an employment relationship, the mandatory provisions of Russian employment law will apply.

    Currently, there is no legal concept of ‘secondment’ under Russian civil and labour legislation, and although not specifically restricted by law, the authorities may question the motives of the parties entering into secondment arrangements and request detailed information.


    Employment contract

    As a general rule, an employment relationship is based on a contract concluded between an employer and an employee. An employment contract must contain certain obligatory provisions set out in the Labour Code, which are essentially designed to protect the rights of employees.

    The general power to sign an employment contract lies with the General Director of the employer. Employment contracts with the employees of branches and representative offices of foreign companies are usually signed by the head of that branch or representative office acting under a power of attorney granted by the foreign head office.


    Duration of employment contracts

    Employment contracts may be concluded for either an indefinite or fixed term, although fixed term agreements are only permitted in specific situations that are provided for in the Labour Code. An employment contract is deemed to be concluded for an indefinite term if no time period is indicated in the agreement. Employees are entitled to conclude employment contracts with several different employers.



    The probationary period under a contract cannot exceed three months. For company heads and their deputies, chief accountants and their deputies, and heads of branches, representative offices and other subdivisions of legal entities, a longer probation period may be established but should not in any event exceed six months. Certain categories of employee, for example mothers with children under 18 months old, must not be subject to a probationary period.


    Salary and bonus payments

    The monthly salary of an employee may not be set below the minimum wage established by Federal law (currently RUB 5,965), although higher limits may apply at a Regional level. Salaries must be paid locally in monetary form, in rubles, and in no fewer than two monthly instalments on dates established by the employer's internal polices and the employment contract.


    Working hours and time off

    Regular working hours may not exceed 40 hours per week. Overtime work should not exceed four hours in two consecutive days and is limited to 120 hours per year. Minimum annual paid vacation is 28 calendar days.

    An employee is entitled to receive pay during periods of sickness, and the employer is compensated for this with a reduction in its social insurance liability.

    As a general rule, women are entitled to paid maternity leave of 70 calendar days both prior to, and after, giving birth.

    In addition, women are entitled to leave until the child reaches the age of three years and during this period the employee is entitled to resume her job. Payment during periods of sickness and maternity leave is calculated on the basis of the employee's average salary.


    Procedure for termination of employment contracts

    An employment contract can be terminated at any time by the mutual agreement of the parties, and with written notice of two weeks by the employee alone. The specific grounds for termination by an employer are listed in the Labour Code and some of these are described below.

    In the event that an employment is terminated due to staff redundancy or the liquidation of the employing company, the employee must be personally notified in writing at least two months in advance.

    In the event of staff redundancy, the employer must offer the employee another position that corresponds with that employee's qualifications, assuming a vacancy exists.

    If an employment is terminated due to the employee's unsuitability for the job, this must be confirmed by an internal review committee formed specifically for this purpose. However, this option should be approached with caution since it is often successfully contested in court.

    If an employee is unsuitable for his or her employment due to the employee's poor health, the employer should transfer that employee (subject to his or her consent) to another position within the company that is more suitable in terms of the employee’s health requirements. If the employee rejects the transfer, or if there is no such position available, the employment agreement can be terminated. During the probation period, employment can be terminated due to an employee's unsatisfactory performance. Three days' written notice, describing the nature of the unsatisfactory performance, must be given. The employee has the right to challenge this decision in court. The employee is also entitled to terminate the contract during the probationary period by providing written notice of three days.


    Liability for violation of the Labour Code

    Violations of the Labour Code and labour protection requirements are subject to the following:

    • A RUB 30,000-200,000 fine for a legal entity

    • A RUB 1,000-40,000 fine for the company's officials

    • Suspension of the activities of the legal entity for a period of up to 90 days

    Violations of employment legislation by a company official who has been previously penalised for similar offences may result in suspension for a period ranging from one to three years.









    Source: Deloitte

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