1.) Increased fines for not employing disabled persons

On 25 February 2013, President Vladimir Putin signed Federal Law N 11-FZ “On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation concerning Employment Quotes for Disabled Persons”, dated 23.02.2013 (“the Law”).

The document supplements both the Federal Law “On Employment in the Russian Federation”, with a new provision aimed at creating and allocating jobs for disabled persons, and the Russian Administrative Offences Code, through the introduction of a new article that sets out increased sanctions for incompliance with the respective requirements.

The Law introduces tougher sanctions for employers not creating jobs for disabled persons. An employer failing to create or allocate jobs for disabled persons in line with the required job quotes, or refusing to employ people with disabilities, shall be held liable in accordance with the Law.

The fines imposed by the Law range from RUB 5,000 to RUB 10,000.

The fine for unreasonable refusal to register disabled persons as unemployed has also been increased from RUB 5,000 to RUB 10,000.

Previously, the fine for refusing to employ disabled people did not exceed RUB 3,000.

Russian law contains certain employment and job guarantees for people with disabilities. The employment of disabled people is mainly ensured through job quotes. Thus, in accordance with the legislative act adopted by the constituent entity of the Russian Federation, a company with more than 100 employees is required to employ disabled people in proportion to2% to 4% of its average headcount.

It should also be noted that in accordance with Law of the City of Moscow “On Establishing Job Quotes” No. 90, dated 22 December 2004, all entities operating in the city of Moscow shall be registered with the “Job Quotes Assignment Centre” (“the Centre”). Pursuant to this law, all employers operating in the city of Moscow with more than 100 employees and not complying with the job quote requirements shall pay monthly compensation.

The main aim of this law is to ensure employers operating in Moscow comply with the 4% job quote for disabled people. This law also establishes quotes for employing young people under the age of 18, orphans and children without parental support under the age of 23. Furthermore it requires that the number of disabled people employed within the established quote shall not be less than 3% of the average headcount. The employer failing to comply with these regulations shall make quarterly payments to the Centre.

Registration with the Centre is mandatory for companies having not less than 100 employees.

Pursuant to the Administrative Offences Code of Moscow, companies failing to register and file the relevant reporting obligations with the Centre are subject to a fine of up to RUB 50,000.

2.) Changes in the procedure for workplace attestation

Effective as of 26 February 2013, Order № 590n of the Russian Ministry of Labour and Social Security dated 12 December 2012 amends the procedure for attesting workplace conditions. In particular, the order provides for the list of workplaces that are subject to mandatory attestation. Included on this list are workplaces where employees work with or maintain, test, adjust and repair any equipment, machines, machinery, plants, devices, units of equipment, or motor vehicles. Workplaces involving hazards that may harm employees, as determined by the attestation committee based on the respective assessment criteria, are also subject to the attestation.

In addition, the mandatory attestation applies to workplaces where electrified, mechanized or other hand tools are used, as well as workplaces where the employees deal with the storage, relocation and/or use of raw and other materials.

Workplaces where employees work on personal computers only, and/or from time to time operate desktop (singe-unit stationary) copying and duplicating machines for the employer’s needs and other office and household appliances not used for production purposes, are not subject to the mandatory attestation.

The attestation of newly organised workplaces shall take place within the year in which the workplaces were created. In accordance with the previous requirements, the attestation was to take place within 60 business days of the workplace entering into service. The initial attestation remains mandatory for workplaces involving the use of equipment, machines, sources of hazard, mechanized and hand tools, operating motor vehicles, and involved in the storage of raw and other materials. These workplaces shall be subject to re-attestation once every five years. In exceptional circumstances the workplaces may be subject to an off-schedule attestation (clauses 47-51 of the Procedure). The off-schedule attestation may also be conducted at the request of employees, labour unions and state labour inspectorates.

Moreover, it should be noted that employers are required to attest their workplaces in order to qualify for a discount in relation to accident insurance contributions. In accordance with the discount and allowance calculation procedure approved by Order No. 39n of the Russian Ministry of Labour dated 01.08.12, no discount shall be allowed if the company fails to attest each and all of its workplaces.