This article sets out recent employment law developments in Russia.
By: Irina Anyukhina
1. New grounds for unscheduled checks by the State Labour Inspectorate
On 11 January 2018 the Federal Law No. 502-FZ amending Article 360 of the Labour Code of the Russian Federation (the ‘Law’) entered into force. The Law sets out the following new grounds for unscheduled checks by the State Labour Inspectorate:
- intentionally avoiding entering into an employment contract with an employee;
- concluding an employment contract with an employee in an improper form;
- entering into a civil law contract (e.g. relating to provision of services or consulting), where there is in fact an employment relationship between an employer and employee.
A crucial novel element of the Law is that the employer will not be notified in advance about checks initiated on the above grounds.
2. Protection of whistleblowers who have reported corruption offences
On 13 December 2017 the Russian State Duma completed the first reading of the Draft Law No. 286313-7 amending the Federal Law on Corruption Counteraction (the ‘Draft Law’). According to the Draft Law, any employees (whistleblowers) who have reported corruption offences are give the following protection:
- Whistleblowers shall be protected from dismissal, unilateral transfer to another position or disciplinary sanctions for two years from the date of submission of a whistleblowing report.
- Whistleblowers may only be dismissed, transferred or disciplined if these actions are approved by a special committee to be formed by the company (e.g. a compliance committee).
- Information on the whistleblower shall be kept confidential.
If a whistleblower reports false information, he or she may be denied protection and even face administrative, disciplinary, civil and criminal liability. The Draft Law shall be approved after it has passed the remaining two readings.
3. Federal minimum wage increased from 1 January 2018
Starting from 1 January 2018 the amount of the federal minimum wage has been increased to RUB 9,489.