Changes to Russian Labor Legislation
On 29 June 2017, the Federal Law dated 18 June 2017 No. 125 "On Changes to the Russian Federation Labor Code" came into force (the Law).
The Law elaborates on and extends particular provisions of the Russian Federation Labor Code (the Labor Code) regarding part-time work, payment for overtime work and work on days off and public holidays.
According to the amendments, employers can establish a part-time working day together with a part-time working week for employees, as well as divide a working day into pieces. As a reminder, under the current version of Article 93 of the Labor Code, employers can only establish either a part-time working week or a part-time working day. According to the Law part-time work can be established both for an unlimited term and fixed term, as agreed upon by the parties.
The Law clarifies the previously effective rules under which a part-time work regime could be established for an employee at his/her request in certain cases (e.g., for a pregnant woman, for an employee taking care of a sick family member, etc.). In particular, the Law specifies that, in the above cases, part-time work may be established for a term convenient for an employee, but for no more than the duration of the respective circumstances.
According to the Law, it is possible not to establish a lunch break for employees who work no more than four hours per day. Such provision must be set out by internal labor regulations or in an employment agreement.
In addition, establishing an open-ended working day for a part-time employee is only possible if an employee works a part-time week but with full working days.
The Law also establishes the rules of overtime payment which have already been accepted in practice. Particularly, if employees work on days off and public holidays outside their normal working hours, this time shall be excluded from calculating their overtime hours because such work is already paid in an increased amount or compensated by granting another day off.
With regard to payment for work on days off and public holidays, the Law clarifies that payment shall be made in increased amounts for actual hours worked. This rule is also currently applicable in practice.
Apart from the above changes to the Labor Code, the Federal Service for Labor and Employment (RosTrud) prepared a draft Decree on "Establishment of the form of check sheet (checklist of questions) for carrying out federal state supervision over compliance with labor legislation and other legislative acts, containing labor law provisions". This form will establish the list of questions that will be used as a guideline for carrying out inspections by the State Labor Inspectorate.
Companies will be able to use this checklist to manage self-control over compliance with labor legislation and to prepare for inspections. Currently, the particular list of questions is not yet elaborated.
Consequences for employers
We recommend that our clients take note of the above legislative changes, and, if necessary, amend their internal labor regulations and employment agreements accordingly. Clients should also monitor planning changes regarding State Labor Inspectorate examinations.