RUSSIA – New Rules for Labour Agreements with Foreign Workers
Effective this Friday 12 December 2014, amendments to the Russian Labour Code state that employers must sign unlimited term labour agreements with foreign employees in most cases.
The new regulations also clarify that a labour agreement must include details of the foreign national’s work permit and medical insurance cover, and offer a few benefits for internal employee changes.
New Labour Agreement Regulations
From 12 December, all employers of foreign nationals in Russia are required to:
- sign unlimited term agreements with all foreign employees including those applying for the Highly Qualified Worker Category. Some exceptions will apply (for general directors, chief accountants and/or when the employer is a Representative Office or Branch Office). Previously, there was no official guidance for employers about whether to sign limited term or unlimited term labour agreements with their foreign employees.
- include in the text of the labour agreement the details of the document, confirming the right of a foreign national to perform work activities, whether this be the work permit, work patent, or temporary or permanent residence permit;
- include in the text of the labour agreement the Medical Insurance Certificate or agreement between employer and insurance company for provision of the medical insurance, including cover for first aid and emergency medical care. Previously, Russian legislation did not contain any specific guidelines as to what services medical insurance should include.
Temporary Transfer or Suspension of Foreign National Staff
Moreover, all host entities now have the right to:
- transfer a foreign employee to another job position within the company for up to one month within a calendar year, without first applying for a work permit amendment;
- suspend a foreign employee from work activities for up to one month, if the employee's work permit expires. Previously employers were required to terminate labour agreements in this situation.
- Employers in Russia must ensure that they sign unlimited term labour agreements with all foreign national employees, unless an exception applies.
- Ensure that labour agreements signed with foreign nationals in Russia include the relevant details of adequate medical insurance and work authorisation.