1. Amendments to Federal Law No. 115-FZ on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation of July 25, 2002 (as amended) entered into force on January 1, 2013 providing for mandatory state fingerprinting of foreign citizens entering on a visa-free basis and when issuing work, temporary residence and permanent residence permits.
  2. Federal Law No. 207-FZ on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation of July 23, 2013 for the Purpose of Improvements to Migration Legislation and Liability for the Breach Thereof, introduced the following new rules:

As of August 9, 2013, expulsion with a fine is the sole penalty for a number of migration offenses committed in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow Oblast, and Leningradskaya Oblast, such as breach of migration registration rules, breach of work rules, and certain others. Fines were also increased for:

  • individuals – up to 7,000 rubles (up to 5,000 rubles in other regions),
  • for officers – up to 70,000 rubles - (up to 50,000 rubles in other regions),
  • for legal entities – up to 1,000,000 rubles (up to 800,000 rubles in other regions).

Also, from August 9, 2013 foreign citizens that have failed to pay taxes or an administrative fine, or not reimbursed the cost of administrative expulsion or deportation from Russia, are barred from entry.

Penalties have been established for employers of highly qualified specialists that fail to notify or notify the migration service in the proper manner and form of the performance of obligations to pay the salaries/ remuneration of highly-qualified specialists, or of the termination of an employment contract with a highly- qualified specialist, or granting of unpaid leave of more than one calendar month in a year. The fines for breach of these rules may reach up to 1 million rubles.

  1. Chapter 49.1 of the RF Labor Code entered into  force on April 19, 2013 establishing the particulars of regulation of remote workers. In accordance with the new rules of the law, the qualifying features of remote working are (1) the employee performing employment functions outside the territory directly or indirectly controlled by the employer; and (2) conduct of communications between the employee and employer through public information and telecommunication networks, including the Internet. Chapter 49.1 of the RF Labor Code establishes a simpler procedure for concluding an employment contract for remote work: such agreements may be signed by exchange of electronic documents, which, however, does not relieve the employer of the obligation to send a duly formalized hard copy of the agreement to the employee. The legislation also allows employers not to generate a labor book for remote workers  or make entries therein concerning remote work if the parties have reached agreement on this matter. Corporate bylaws, orders, notices and demands from the employer, as well as documents relating to mandatory social insurance, may also be provided to the employee for familiarization by exchange of electronic documents. An employment contract with a remote worker must provide a procedure and terms for providing the employee with essential equipment and software, rules on reimbursement of expenses relating to the remote work, and grounds for termination of the agreement at the Employer’s initiative. Unless otherwise established by the employment contract, a remote worker shall have the right to arrange work and rest times at his/her discretion.
  2. Federal Law No. 336-FZ on Amendments to Article 1 of the Federal Law on the Minimum Wage of December 2, 2013 sets the statutory minimum monthly wage in the Russian Federation at 5,554 rubles as of January 1, 2014. The 2014 Minimum Wage Agreement between the Government of  Moscow,  Trade Union  Associations  of Moscow, and Employers’ Associations of Moscow sets the minimum wage in Moscow at 12,600 rubles from January 1, 2014, rising to 12,850 rubles from July 1.
  3. Federal Law No. 427-FZ on Amendments to Article 11 of the Federal Law on Work Pensions in the Russian Federation and Article 1 of the Federal Law on Federal Budget Funds Allocated to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation to Compensate Expenses in  Paying the Insurance Portion of Old Age Pensions, Work Pensions due to Disability, and Work Pensions due to Loss of Breadwinner for Certain Categories of Citizens of December 28, 2013 increases the maximum childcare leave from 3 years to 4.5 years, which is counted to length of service for the purposes of calculating pensions. Previously, a parent’s childcare leave was counted towards insurance length of service until each child reached 18 months of age, to a maximum of not more than 3 years. Following this amendment the period has been extended to four years and six months. Insurance length of service may therefore now include childcare leave for three children of up to 18 months for each child.
  4. Federal Law No. 426-FZ on Special Appraisal of Working Conditions of December 28, 2013, reforms the procedure for appraising working conditions in work places. Special appraisal of working conditions is intended to replace the previous procedures – work place attestation and state expert assessment of working conditions. Special appraisal results are taken into consideration when paying Pension Fund of Russia insurance contributions, and for the purpose of providing guarantees and compensation to employees, as well as in other health and safety procedures.

Working conditions are divided into four classes by harmfulness and hazardousness – optimal, acceptable, harmful, and hazardous. There are also four subclasses of harmful. A procedure for declaring the conformity  of working conditions to state standard requirements is provided for work places at which no potential harmful and/or hazardous factors are found. A declaration is valid for 5 years and automatically renews for the same period provided there have been no workplace accidents or work-related illnesses.

Federal Law No. 421-FZ on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in Connection with the Adoption of the Federal Law on Special Appraisal of Working Conditions of December 28, 2013 amends employment legislation. In particular, the amendments permit an increase in the maximum duration of work in harmful and/or hazardous working conditions from 36 to 40 hours a week, but only with the employee’s consent and provided monetary compensation is paid. The minimum duration of annual additional paid leave (7 calendar days) is unaffected. By agreement with the employee, monetary compensation may be provided in lieu of the days of additional leave which exceed the above statutory minimum. The higher rate of pay is also retained (not less than 4%).

The maximum shift duration for such workers may be increased: from 8 to 12 hours for a 36 hour working week; and from 6 to 8 hours for a working week of 30 hours or less. However, this is only possible for a shorter working week and subject to the employee’s written consent.

Enterprises with harmful or hazardous working conditions are permitted to use cumulative timekeeping (timekeeping period – 3 months).

Significant amendments affect pension provision for persons employed in harmful and/or hazardous working conditions. The right to an early work pension is retained, subject to the employer paying insurance contributions to the Pension Fund of Russia at additional rates.