The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has prepared a draft law which extends the mandatory protection for foreign employees sojourning in Russia. These employees include foreigners who have no permanent or temporary residence permit.

The draft law provides that it is an obligatory requirement for an employer to provide an employee with voluntary health insurance or to provide the employee with medical help based on an agreement between the employer and a medical organisation. This requirement does not apply if the employer is an individual.

A copy of the insurance policy or the agreement between the employer and the medical organization should be filed with the application for a work permit. The effective term of these documents should be not less than the effective term of the employment agreement or services contract, and the work permit.

In accordance with the draft law, if the term of the employment agreement with the foreign employee is indefinite or exceeds six months, obligatory social insurance for temporary disability is also required.

The provisions on social insurance do not apply to highly qualified foreign specialists.

The adoption of the draft law will impose additional obligations on the employers who hire foreign employees.

[Draft Federal Law “On Amending Certain Legal Acts of the Russian Federation Concerning Obligatory Social Insurance for Temporary Disability and Maternity and Medical Insurance of Foreign Citizens”, dated 22 October 2012 is available on the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs website here]