KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2017
Electronic document management in labour disputes
From 1 January 2017 new changes in the law allow courts dealing with labour disputes to deal with documents in electronic form. An official court website will also mean that statement of claims can be submitted electronically.
Independent assessment of employee qualifications
From 1 January 2017 an independent qualification evaluation procedure shall verify certain types of professional qualifications required by employers. This may be by a professional examination administered by the special qualifications assessment centres. Employers will determine the need for employees to pass the exam, and will have to comply with certain criteria (including setting conditions for the assessment, meeting the costs and obtaining the employee’s written consent).
Deregulation for microenterprises
From 1 January 2017, new rules shall apply to microenterprise companies. These will extend to companies with not more than:
- 15 employees;
- 120,000,000 rubles of annual income (approximately 1,714,285 Euro);
- 25% of its shares owned by the Russian Federation; and
- 49% of its shares owned by foreign legal entities not more than 49%
Where the legislation applies, certain pieces of legislation will not apply to these microenterprise employers, and there will be a standard form employment contract for these employers to use.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2016
Ban on agency labour
On 1 January 2016, amendments to Russian employment laws were introduced which restrict the ability to outsource staff, and which impose a set of requirements for staff providers. Labour performed by an employee under instruction of an employer but for the benefit of and under the control of another person (not being the employee’s employer), is now therefore prohibited except in limited circumstances (such as temporary arrangement via private recruitment agencies).
Application of professional standards
From 1 July 2016, professional standards (or qualifications) are obligatory in certain roles/professions where the law sets out mandatory minimum requirements.
Employee right to salary during temporary suspension of work
Under Russian law, where an employer delays payment of salary for more than 15 days, employees are entitled to suspend work (i.e. stop working and leave his/her work place) for the whole period of delay. Legislation introduced in January 2016 provides that during the period of suspension, employees reserve the right to receive their average salary.
Changes in the limitation period for certain labour disputes and choice of jurisdiction; increased liability of employers for salary payment delays
An employee with a claim in relation to the payment of salary, compensation, and benefits now has one year from the day when he/she has learned about a violation to bring a claim. The limitation period for other claims is still one month. A special one month limitation period applies to contesting dismissals.
An employee can choose to file a claim at the place of his/her residence or at the location of the employer.
Fines for employers who fail to make salary payments increased to 1/150 of the Central Bank of Russia’s key rate for the unpaid amount for each day of delay.
With thanks to Anna Ivanova, Olga Tyangaeva and Elena Agaeva of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners for their invaluable collaboration on this update.