1. New Moscow trilateral agreement concluded between the Government of Moscow, Moscow trade union associations and Moscow employers’ associations for 2016-2018

The agreement sets forth the usual duties of the parties, such as to assist in developing the manufacturing sector of the economy, creating high-tech clusters in various lines of business, to develop and ensure implementation of measures to support small and medium-sized business, to keep officially registered unemployment rates at not more than 1 percent of the economically active population, to promote the creation of new jobs and the preservation and upgrading of existing jobs for the city’s residents, to develop the practice of internships for students and graduates of professional educational institutions so they can then find permanent jobs, to provide individuals with disabilities employment assistance, to assist in getting young specialists settled in companies, etc.

The agreement also sets the minimum wage at RUB 17,300 starting January 1, 2016 in the city of Moscow. The minimum wage is subject to quarterly review and is set as the amount of the living wage for the working-age population.

2. Rules approved for accreditation of private employment agencies to engage in staffing services

Government Resolution No. 1165 of October 29, 2005 was adopted in furtherance of Federal Law No. 116-FZ on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation of May 5, 2014, which established a requirement for private employment agencies to seek accreditation to obtain the right to engage in staffing activities. The resolution approved the rules for accreditation of private employment agencies to engage in staffing services. The rules set forth the requirements to private employment agencies to obtain accreditation in order to provide staffing services (requirements to the amount of charter capital, absence of tax debts, etc.). The accreditation procedure provides that a private employment agency files an appropriate application and a set of documents with the Federal Service for Labor and Employment. The Federal Service for Labor and Employment renders a decision on whether to grant the private employment agency accreditation within 15 business days of when the employment agency files the documents. Accreditation is granted for three years unless the private employment agency requests a shorter period in the application for accreditation. The Federal Service for Labor and Employment is also the authority responsible for keeping the register of accredited private employment agencies.

3. List of documents confirming that an employee is on a business trip specified

Amendments were made on July 29, 2015 to the Regulation on the Specifics of Sending Employees on Business Trips approved by Government Resolution No. 749 of October 13, 2008. The amendments were intended to settle disputes over determining how long an employee is on a business trip when there are no travel documents because the employee uses their personal or official vehicle. In such situations the duration of the business trip will be confirmed by accommodation documents at the business trip destination confirming rental of housing or an agreement for hotel services.

If an employee has neither travel documents nor documents proving he/she rented housing, the employee shall submit a note and/or other document regarding the actual duration of the business trip containing the receiving party’s confirmation of the time the employee arrived at or departed from the business trip destination.

Clause 8 of the Regulation, which stipulates the procedure and form in which the employer keeps track of employees on business trips, has been abrogated. As a result, employers are no longer required to keep a record of employees on business trips.

4. Maximum period for setting cumulative working hours for individuals in jobs with hazardous or dangerous working conditions increased

According to Federal Law No. 152-FZ on Amendments to Article 104 of the Russian Federation Labor Code of June 8, 2015, the time period for cumulative recording of working hours for individuals in jobs with hazardous or dangerous working conditions may be increased by an industry agreement or collective-bargaining agreement, but not to more than one year. Previously the maximum period of cumulative recording for such categories of employees set by the Russian Federation Labor Code was three months.

5. Deadline set for an employer to state the reasons for refusing to hire an employee

Previously Article 64 of the Russian Federation Labor Code stated that, at the request of a person denied the opportunity to enter into an employment contract, the employer is required to let them know the reason for the refusal in writing; however, the legislators failed to state how long employers could take to provide that written reply. Federal Law No. 200-FZ on Amendments to Article 64 of the Russian Federation Labor Code of June 29, 2015 adopted a rule in accordance with which an interested party must be notified of the reason for refusing to enter into an employment contract in writing within seven business days of the request.

6. A fixed-term employment contract is extended until the end of maternity leave

Previously, if a female employee working under a fixed-term employment contract became pregnant, the employment contract was extended only until the end of the pregnancy if there was a written statement from the employee and a medical certificate. Federal Law No. 201-FZ on Amendments to Articles 84.1 and 261 of the Russian Federation Labor Code of June 29, 2015 established the rule that if an employment contract expires while a woman is pregnant, the employer will be required further to the employee’s written request to extend the contract until the end of the pregnancy and, if the woman is given maternity leave according to the established procedure, then until the end of the leave. Consequently, if a child is born a fixed-term contract with the employee should be terminated on the last day of the maternity leave. In all other cases when a pregnancy ends, the fixed-term employment contract is terminated within one week of the day the employer learned or should have learned that the pregnancy had ended.

7. Minimum wage in the Russian Federation increased

Federal Law No. 376-FZ on Amendments to Article 1 of the Federal Law on the Minimum Wage of December 14, 2015 set the minimum wage in the Russian Federation at RUB 6,204 starting January 1, 2016.

8. Top changes to migration legislation

  1. Federal Law No. 357-FZ on Amendments to the Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation and certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation of November 24, 2014 sets new rules concerning the form and procedure for filing notices when employment contracts are concluded (or terminated) with foreign employees. These notices will need to be submitted to the local Federal Migration Service of Russia - authority that issued the work permit - within three business days of when the relevant employment contract is concluded or terminated. Employers hiring any category of foreign citizen, including citizens from member states of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union must file such notices. This rule entered into force on January 1, 2015;
  2. On January 2, 2015 and August 12, 2015, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, respectively, acceded to the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union signed in Astana on May 29, 2014 (as amended). According to Article 97 of that treaty, workers from member states do not need to get any permission to work in the country where they are employed. Thus, it is no longer required to obtain a special authorization (“patent”) in order to hire citizens from those countries;
  3. Federal Law No. 343-FZ on Amendments to Articles 25 and 25.6 of the Federal Law on the Procedure for Exiting and Entering the Russian Federation and Article 13 of the Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation of November 28, 2015 made it possible to issue an ordinary business visa to enter the Russian Federation for up to 30 days to foreign citizens arriving on tour (to arrange and hold events under civil-law contracts on a paid basis during which the foreign citizen who is a creative worker publicly performs works of literature, art or folk art). There is no requirement to obtain any work permits or permits to hire and use foreign workers for such activity;
  4. According to the rules established by Federal Law No. 199-FZ on Amendments to Articles 18.10 and 18.15 of the Russian Federation Administrative Offenses Code and the Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation of June 29, 2015, if during the period of validity of a work permit the foreign citizen’s last name, name or patronymic or their passport details change, the foreign citizen shall come to the migration authorities that issued the work permit within seven business days to enter the relevant changes in the information contained in the permit.