Changes To The Contract
In general, terms of an employment agreement may only be changed with the parties’ written consent. An employer may change an employment agreement upon its own initiative if there are business reasons for that. This requires giving a two months’ advance notice to an employee. If an employee disagrees with the proposed changes, an employer should offer a different job to the employee in the same company. This job must match with an employee’s qualification and health status. If no such job is available, the employer must offer a lower position or a job with a lowery salary. Should such a job be unavailable or should the employee refuse to do this job, an employment agreement shall be terminated. An employer may transfer an employee to a different job without an employee’s consent for a period of up to one month in case of a natural disaster, industrial accident, fire, and in other exceptional cases threatening the lives or standard living conditions of general public. In this case, an employee can be transferred only to a job that is connected with the prevention of mentioned cases or with clearing the after-effects of the same.
Change In Ownership Of The Business
In general, change in the ownership of the business does not entitle the termination of employment agreements. In case a company is transferred from state to municipal or private ownership (i.e. privatization), a new owner may terminate an employment agreement with a chief executive officer (CEO), CEO’s deputies and a chief accountant within three months. This rule does not apply to what is related to the change of shareholders in a company. In this case, according to the law, rank-and-file employees shall be safe to continue with the jobs, whereas the powers of a CEO may be terminated by new shareholders at any time (three months’ prior notice is not required).
Social Security Contributions
The law requires an employer to pay the following insurance contributions:
- mandatory pension insurance contributions (to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation);
- mandatory social insurance contributions payable for temporary incapacity and maternity leave (to the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation);
- mandatory medical insurance contributions (to Federal and Territorial Medical Insurance Funds);
- mandatory contributions for insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases.
The purpose of these contributions is to compensate an employee for their lost earnings in cases of severe injury, an industrial or other disease, and to insure financial support of retired persons, pregnant women and other qualified persons.
Accidents At Work
The law guaranties reimbursement both of an employee’s lost wages and additional health recovery costs in cases of industrial accident disease. Employee’s death involves reimbursement of lost income and funeral costs to the family.
Discipline And Grievance
One of the main duties of an employee is the duty to comply with the internal rules of an employer. Breach of this duty entails the application of the following disciplinary remedies: remark, reprimand or dismissal. Employment legislation provides for other types of disciplinary remedies for certain categories of employees. An employer may not invent its own disciplinary remedies.
The Labor Code of the Russian Federation sets forth the procedure for bringing employees to disciplinary liability. If an employer does not comply with this procedure, the disciplinary remedies may be held invalid.
All types of discrimination, which are not related to employees’ business skills are prohibited, including the discrimination by sex, race, skin color, nationality, language, origin, property status, social status, official capacity, age, place of residence, attitude to religion, etc.
An employer is obliged to provide equal pay for work of equal value. Persons who believe that they have been discriminated at work may file an application with the court to regain their violated rights, reimburse lost wages and moral damage.
Compulsory Training Obligations
There are no compulsory requirements for employers to provide training for employees. Additional training and retraining of employees is arranged by an employer on its own initiative. If training takes place with a break from work, then the employee is entitled to preserve average earnings and compensation for travel expenses, if training takes place in another locality, additional payments may also be provided for by the employment or collective agreement. An employee may be bound by an employment agreement to improve working skills.
Deductions from an employee’s wages can be made only as stipulated in the Labor Code of the Russian Federation and other federal laws in order to repay debts to the employer or other persons. The amount of these deductions is limited. Not more than 20 per cent as a general rule, up to 50 per cent when the law specifies so, and up to 70 per cent in case serving correctional labor, collecting alimony for minor children, reimbursing harm caused to the health of another person, reimbursing harm to persons who have suffered damage in connection with the death of a breadwinner, and compensation for damage caused by a crime.
Payments For Maternity And Disability Leave
Women are guaranteed a maternity leave with a maternity allowance, lasting 70 calendar days (84 calendar days for multiple pregnancy) prior to the childbirth and 70 calendar days (86 calendar days for complicated childbirth, 110 calendar days when two children or more are born) after the childbirth.
Also, it is guaranteed that family members (mother, father, and another family member) be granted a childcare leave until the child reaches the age of three years. One of the family members who is on childcare leave is entitled to childcare allowance until the child reaches the age of one and a half year.
An employee is entitled to temporary disability payments in case of a disease or injury until full recovery or medical certification of permanent disability. The amount of this payment ranges from 60 to 100 per cent of employee’s wages. Leave is granted for the entire period of incapacity to work.
An employer must provide mandatory social insurance (see Paragraph 3 “Social Security Contributions”).
Absence For Military Or Public Service Duties
Conscription of an employee to military or mandatory civilian service is a ground to terminate an employment agreement.
Works Councils or Trade Unions
Labor trade unions in the Russian Federation represent and protect their members and non-members – the employees who have authorized trade unions to do so.
Trade unions may demand that employers remedy the breaches of employees’ rights. In turn, an employer must notify the relevant trade union about the review results for the trade union`s claims and of the measures taken.
Furthermore, an employer is obliged to take into consideration all opinions voiced by the relevant trade union whilst adopting certain internal documents, and when terminating an employment agreement with a trade union member.
The employers (except for individuals not being entrepreneurs) shall have the right to create a works council, an advisory body of employees on a voluntary basis, for the improvement of production activities.
Employees’ Right To Strike
Employee’s right to strike as a method to settle collective labor disputes is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and by the Labor Code of the Russian Federation. However, this right may be limited by other federal laws. At the same time, participation in the strike is voluntary. No one can be forced to participate or refuse to participate in a strike. Persons forcing employees to participate or refuse to participate in a strike shall bear disciplinary, administrative, and criminal liability. Employees and their representatives have the right to start arranging a strike when:
- statutory mediation procedures (see Paragraph 1 “Forums for Adjudicating Employment Disputes”) have not resulted in the settlement of a collective labor dispute,
- an employer avoids participating in mediation procedures,
- an employer has breached the settlement agreement for a collective labor dispute, or
- an employer has not complied with a labor arbitration award.
Employees On Strike
A representative body of employees which is authorized to settle collective labor disputes has the right to propose starting a strike. If an employee’s meeting has approved this proposal, a strike begins.
An employer must be given a written notice about a forthcoming strike no later than seven business days prior to the event. An employer must then notify the Service for the Settlement of Collective Labor Disputes about the forthcoming strike.
A strike is illegal if it was announced without taking into account the terms, procedures and requirements provided for by the Labor Code of the Russian Federation.
The Labor Code of the Russian Federation prohibits dismissal of employees due to their participation in the labor dispute or strike. An employer may be fined for doing so.
Employees on strike are not entitled to any salary during the strike. Employees who have not participated in the strike, but could not work because of the strike retain their salary.
Employers’ Responsibility For Actions Of Their Employees
An employer is responsible for an employee’s actions and is bound to reimburse damage caused by its employee while performing job-related duties. The actions of the employee that caused damage, committed not in the performance of his job duties, cannot entail the employer's obligation to compensate for the damage.