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Five novations are expected in the labour sphere

Last year, the lawmakers corrected and expanded the provisions of the Labour Code of the Russian Federation seven times. This work will go on in 2013, since the deputies were not able to discuss many draft laws, which they had planned to last fall. Some novations in discussion have not yet received the status of draft laws, but should they be adopted, they may seriously affect the nature of the labour relations in the future.

I. Telecommuting regulations

The draft law No. 88331-6 “On amendments to the Labour Code of the Russian Federation and Article 1 of the Federal Law “On digital signature””. Under consideration by the State Duma. The authors of the draft law suggest amendments to the Labour Code of the Russian Federation, which are related to the regulation of the labour of the persons, who work by telecommuting, that is – outside of the employer’s location (telecommuting).

Hence, employment contracts with telecommuters may be executed in electronic form. The parties to such agreements will be obliged to use the reinforced qualified digital signature.

The employer will also be obliged to provide the telecommuting employee with a duly authenticated counterpart of such contract by sending it via registered mail with delivery notification within three calendar days of the day of execution of the employment contract. The contract, in particular, is to specify the procedure and time limits for provision of the telecommuters with equipment and other resources necessary for performing the work function, for delivery of completed work, the procedure and time limits for payment of compensation for the use of their own equipment and resources by the telecommuters. Said employees will be able to dispose of their worktime and leisure at their own discretion, unless otherwise provided for by the contract.

Telecommuting has become ever more widespread, which is the reason for the adoption of the draft law. This is explained by the fact that this form of labour organization has a number of advantages: the employer’s costs of renting premises and equipping workplaces are lowered, time, energy and means of the employee are saved, the latter’s productivity increases due to his work in more comfortable conditions at home.

Telecommuters will be subject to the employment legislation with the reservations connected with their special work regime. At the same time, the draft law provisions will not be active towards out-workers, whose legal status is defined in Article 49 of the Labour Code of Russia.

The employer will also get the possibility to introduce additional motives for dismissal of a telecommuter.

We will point out two peculiarities the definition “telecommuters” is based at: 1) such employee’s workplace is outside the employer’s location (possibly even in another area); 2) the Internet information and telecommunication network as well as other means of communication are obligatorily used during the work.

II. Borrowed labour ban

The draft law No. 451173-5 “On amendments to certain legal acts of the Russian Federation” (on the measures of prevention of the employers’ avoidance of employment contracts execution by way of unfounded execution of civil law agreements, use of “borrowed labour” schemes or by other means). Under consideration by the State Duma. In particular, the document amends the Law No. 1032-1 of the Russian Federation dated 19.04.1991 “On employment of the population of the Russian Federation” (hereinafter – the Employment Law), the Labour Code of Russia and the Administrative Offences Code of Russia.

The draft law aims at banning the borrowed labour, namely prohibiting the recruitment agencies to enter into employment contracts with employees for the purpose of their transfer to other organizations for the use of their labour.

It is suggested that the State Labour Inspection be endowed with the right to establish the actual employment relations between the employee and the employer. The person performing the actual work will be entitled to claim moral damages, if the company refuses to execute an employment contract with him. The minimum amount of the moral damages compensation is fixed. The term “other person performing any organizational and management functions on behalf of the employer” is included in the provision of the person’s actual access to work.

Besides, it is suggested that a special element of offence be included in the Administrative Offences Code of Russia: for the avoidance of execution of an employment contract, in the form of a fine of up to 20000 roubles for officials and up to 100 000 roubles for legal entities. An official may also be disqualified, it similar administrative punishment has already been imposed on such official earlier.

A trilateral committee on regulation of the social employment relations has been created for preparation of the document for the second reading. The committee has supported the variant of the borrowed labour ban with some reservations: when provision of the personnel is possible, when such provision is not borrowed labour etc.

III. Prohibition of discriminative hiring requirements

The draft law “On amendments to certain legal acts of the Russian Federation” dated 18.10.2012. Published at the website of the Ministry of Labour of Russia. The document, in particular, amends the Employment Law and the Administrative Offences Code of Russia. The first group of the amendments refers to the training of non-working citizens – unemployed, women on maternity leave, and other non-working persons wishing to reinitiate the professional activity, including the persons in retirement due to age.


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