To provide an overview of the most important changes regarding labour law and employment in Russia for 2021, our local expert team prepared a complex summary of news. Find out more about electronic labour books, reporting, remote work, women at work, foreign workers, benefits, sick pay and emergency-related matters.
Download our “Labour Law and Employment in Russia – 2021 Guide (PDF)” for more information about local requirements, or read more below:
Electronic labour books
From January 1, those who are employed for the first time do not need to start a paper Labour Book – their employment history will be recorded electronically, using reports to the Pension Fund of Russia (PFR). However, for those employees who have chosen to preserve the paper document, the Labour Book still needs to be maintained (clause 8 of article 2 of the Federal Law No. 439-FZ of 16.12.2019).
On December 14, 2020, the order of the Ministry of Labour N 618n of 17.09.2020 came into force, establishing a new form of the Extract from the electronic labour book, Form STD-PFR. The Extract is generated upon request in electronic or paper form based on the data contained in the PFR information system. STD-PFR will show the employer the entire employment history of the employee recorded on the individual personal account, which will simplify the verification of information about the employment history of applicants in the process of recruitment.
Starting from 2021 the annual report on the average headcount no longer needs to be submitted in January. However, this does not mean that tax authorities will stop receiving the headcount information – that information will be contained in the report on the calculation of insurance contributions. Thus, for 2020 and subsequent years, the headcount report is no longer submitted (Law No. 5-FZ of 28.01.2020).
The Pension Fund of Russia will begin to apply fines for late submission and errors in Form SZV-TD. From 2021, there is a fine from RUB 300 to RUB 500 imposed on an executive officer for late submission or incomplete or inaccurate information in the report. (Law No. 90-FZ of 01.04.2020)
Electronic data interchange
The Ministry of Labour initiated the Experiment on electronic document interchange in May 2020, it will last until March 31, 2021. The essence of the experiment is in exchanging HR documents electronically (Law No. 122-FZ of 04.24.2020).
To participate in the experiment, the Employer must:
- select the documents that will be maintained in electronic form (the Ministry of Labour made its own list)
- send an application to the Ministry of Labour, indicate the start date (you can exit the project at any time)
- formalize the consent of employees to participate
- make changes to internal policies and procedures
- create your own electronic document management system or use the Work in Russia portal
Minimum statutory monthly pay
Starting from January 1, 2021, the Minimum statutory monthly pay established at the federal level in Russia by the Order of the Ministry of Labour on the Subsistence Level No. 542n of 28.08.2020, is RUB 12,392.
To harmonize the use of working hours, four types of remote work have been legislated for. The procedure for hiring and dismissal of remote workers has been established. For example, an employee can be dismissed for failure to get in touch with the employer for more than two working days. The rules for document flow and the procedure for sending employees to work remotely by decision of the authorities (Law No. 407-FZ of 08.12.2020).
Starting from 2021, the following types of remote work have been established:
- permanent – the employee continuously works away from office during the entire term of the employment contract
- temporary – the employee continuously works away from office for a period of time, but this period cannot exceed six months
- periodical – the employee alternates periods of work away from office and at the office
- temporary, at the initiative of the employer in exceptional cases – the employee works away from office on a temporary basis, until the circumstances that caused the transfer to remote work cease to apply (decision of the authorities, epidemic and other exceptional cases)
Women at work
Women are prohibited from working in job conditions listed in items 89 – 98 of the relevant Ministry of Labour list. Among them are items like extinguishing fires, transporting, loading, manually unloading pesticides. Also, women must not be employed in underground works in the mining industry, in the construction of underground structures and underground oil production (Order of the Ministry of Labour No. 512n of 18.07.2019).
From January 1, 2021, when submitting any notification or petition for foreigners to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it is necessary to pay attention to the way the attestation record is made on a document of two or more sheets after binding and numbering. On the back of the last sheet, the authorized person who submits the notification must indicate the number of sheets, surname, initials and affix the signature. There have been minimal changes of the forms, no new information needs to be entered (Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs dated July 30, 2020 No. 536).
From February 6, 2021, foreign employees can be entrusted with work not provided for by the employment contract by amending the contract. It is not necessary to notify the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the expansion of the duties of a foreigner, of combining positions or of other changes in working conditions. Notifications are only sent in the event of employment or dismissal (Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia N 536 of 30.07.2020, Resolution of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation No. 7-P of 04.02.2020).
Benefits and sick pay
From 01.01.2021, the tax credit system of insurance payments from the Federal Social Insurance Fund (SIF) is abolished, all regions of the Russian Federation, without exception, are switching to direct payments of benefits:
- Employers accept applications for the payment of benefits and the supporting documents from employees and provide the sick pay for the first 3 days of illness
- The SIF pays the balance of the benefit due to the employee by direct deposit to the employee’s account
From January 1, 2021, the remaining 8 regions will switch to direct payments: Krasnodar Territory, Perm Territory, Moscow region, Sverdlovsk region, Chelyabinsk region, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District – Yugra.
The obligation to pay benefits to the Mir card was initially to take effect from July 1, but due to the pandemic the Central Bank initiated a postponement – until July 1, 2021 (Letter No. IN-04-45/175 of 18.12.2020). Until that date, there will be no sanctions for payment of pensions and other social benefits using instruments other than Mir cards.
The change affects all Social Insurance Fund funded benefits: benefits for the birth of a child, benefits for childcare, payments to Chernobyl disaster mitigators and other benefits.
The obligation does not apply to sick pay – the employer pays the benefit for the first three days, which can be remitted to any bank card. Salaries and wages, bonuses, vacation pay, benefits for caring after a sick child can also be wired to any bank cards. These payments are made in the usual manner, and the beneficiary employees do not need to obtain a Mir card.
Beneficiaries residing abroad constitute the only exception from the said legal obligation. For example, if a company has an employee entitled to receive childcare benefits for a child up to 1.5 years old, and that employee resides abroad, the benefit can be transferred to any bank card of that employee.
A regulation has been enacted for the period of 2021-2026, that calls for training of citizens in the area of protection against emergencies (ES) of natural and man-made nature.
Employees must receive a safety briefing on emergency situations
- during the first month of employment
- subsequently – on an annual basis
Employees must know the procedures for emergency situations, but also confirm the acquired knowledge in trainings and exercises (Government Decree No. 1485 of 18.09.2020).