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10.1 Russian Employees and Foreign Emlpoyees Working under Russian Labour Contracts attention

10.1.1 Employment Contract

Employment is subject to labour legislation of the Russian Federation, the employer's internal regulations, the employer's collective agreement (if any) and direct employment contracts.

Employees are minimally entitled to the rights and benefits afforded under Russian labour laws. In addition to these rights, Russian labour legislation also governs such matters as the duration and termination of contracts.

10.1.2 Employee Rights

Russian labour legislation provides certain guarantees for employees. The following are some of the features provided for in the Labour Code of the Russian Federation:

  • the workweek, in most cases, is not to exceed 40 hours. The Labour Code provides for fewer working hours under certain conditions: shift work, night work, and working on the day before a holiday Detailed provisions regarding vacations are also included;
  • limited overtime is permitted for certain workers, not to exceed four hours in two succes-sive days or 120 hours per year; an employer is not permitted to demand that an employee perform functions that are beyond those set out in his or her labour contract without the consent of the employee, except in certain circumstances, such as temporary transfers of functions in the event of an industrial emergency; employees are entitled to nine paid public holidays and annual leave of not less than 24 days. Some employees, such as those involved in teaching, training, research or investigation, may be entitled to more than 24 days annual leave; employees are generally entitled to sick leave benefits. Such benefits are based on an employee's wages and vary between 60% to 100%, depending on the period of time he or she has worked uninterruptedly; women are entitled to paid maternity leave for the 70 days prior to and after childbirth (86 days in the case of birth complications, and 110 for multiple births). Regardless of the date she is hired, a woman is entitled to annual paid vacation which may be taken either before or immediately after the maternity leave, as well as unpaid leave up until the child's third birthday Fathers, grandparents and other relatives are entitled to partially-paid leave for child-care purposes under certain circumstances; and
  • employees have the right to organise trade unions and participate in production management. The local trade union committee at the enterprise represents the inter-ests of the employees, manages social funds, ensures that the terms of the collective contract between the enterprise and the local trade union committee are being complied with and participates in the resolution of labour disputes in accordance with Russian law.

10.1.3 Severance Pay

The Labour Code requires that severance pay, equal to at least two weeks' average earnings, be provided when a labour contract is terminated for the following reasons:

  • an employee is drafted or voluntarily enlisted into military service;
  • an employee is denied a transfer to work in another locality upon relocation of the enterprise, institution or organisation;
  • an employee is unsuitable for the job as a result of either insufficient qualifications or health problems which hinder the continuation of work;
  • an employee who previously held the position is reinstated; and
  • the management is in violation of labour legislation, the collective agreement, or the labour contract.

In the event an enterprise, institution, or organisation is liquidated, or there is a reduction in the number of staff, payment of one month's salary is required.

If the employee finds new employment within one month of the termination of his or her labour contract, he is paid the above noted severance pay only

If the employee is unable to find new employment within one month of the termination of his or her labour contract, in addition to paying the above noted severance pay, the employer is required to continue paying the employee's average salary during the job search period, but for no longer than one month (when dismissal is in connection with staff reduction) or two months (when dismissal is in connection with the company's liquidation).

The employee must be given at least two months' advance written notice of his or her dismissal.

10.1.4 Work Book - Work Permit

Russian labour legislation requires that a work book be kept for each employee working for five days at an enterprise. This is the main document reflecting the activities of the employee, reasons for dismissal, etc. Since work books are necessary for employees to collect their pensions, foreign firms are, therefore, required to sign, stamp and maintain work books for their employees.

Pursuant to Decree of the President of the Russian Federation ¹2146 of 16 December 1993 «On Attracting and Using Foreign Labour in the Russian Federations» , with the exception of accredited personnel of a representative office of a foreign company, all foreign nationals employed in the Russian Federation must obtain a work permit. In the case of non-specialised labour positions, for which the need to hire non-Russian citizens is not obvious, an employer wishing to hire a foreign national must request and obtain an authorised quota from the Federal Immigration Service. On the basis of the authorisation and within the limits of the quota, the Immigration Service grants a work permit to a named foreign national. Although authorisation is not required for foreign nationals to fill a «specialised position», e.g. manager or division head, such an employee must still obtain a work permit.

10.1.5 Duration or Contracts

Employment contracts may be concluded for an indefinite term, a definite term no longer than five years, or for a period necessary to perform a particular task. Definite-term contracts can be concluded only in the following situations:

  • when labour relations cannot be established for an indefinite term because of the nature of the forthcoming work, the conditions for its fulfilment or the interest of the employee; and
  • in other cases directly stipulated by legislation.
Trial periods (of up to three months) are provided for in order to assess the suitability of an employee for a position. If the outcome of the trial period is unsuccessful, the employee may be discharged in the course of the trial period without the consent of the trade union and without payment of a severance allowance. Once the trial period ends, the employee may be dismissed according to the general procedure only.

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