Follow These Guidelines When Writing Employment Contracts for Your Business Entity in Russia

Russian labor laws guarantee employees certain rights and require certain responsibilities of employers. When making employment agreements with your workforce, it is important that you comply with these guidelines to ensure that you have legal agreements with your employees.

General Terms of the Employment Contract

The employment contract must be a written document signed by both parties. It may not specify terms that do not meet the minimum standards required by Russian law. At a minimum, a contract must guarantee the following:

  • A standard work week of 40 hours.
  • 28 days of leave in addition to 14 public holidays, paid by the employer.
  • Sick leave paid by the Social Insurance Fund.
  • Maternity leave of 70 days for first-time mothers and 84 days for mothers with other children, paid by the Social Insurance Fund.
  • The right to organize and participate in a trade union.
  • The place of work, work hours, required duties, salary, and starting days, among other details.

An employer may not force an employee to undertake duties not specified in his contract unless an official job transfer has occurred. Contracts should be implemented for an undefined term, except for certain employees such as students, part-time workers, certain foreign employees, and CEOs and other members of management.

Termination of Employment

The employment contract must specify the terms under which an employee may be terminated. The following grounds are standard under Russian labor laws:

  • Mutual agreement of both parties.
  • Expiration of the contract term for fixed-term contracts.
  • Refusal of the employee to continue working in case of relocation, change of control of the employer, or reorganization of the company.
  • The employee’s initiative following prior notification to the employer two weeks before leaving the job.

The employer may terminate employment under the following limited circumstances:

  • Reasons connected with the employee’s conduct, including repeated non-performance of employment duties, a single gross breach of employment duties, presentation by the employee of falsified documents during the hiring process, and other grounds.
  • Reasons associated with the employee’s insufficient professional qualifications.
  • Reasons such as liquidation of the organization or a separate subdivision thereof, or staff reduction.

Hiring Foreigners

In order to hire foreign nationals, an employer must do the following:

  • File an application for a quota of work permits in order to obtain permission to hire foreign nationals.
  • Obtain individual work permits for the people he wants to hire.
  • Obtain work visas for potential foreign employees.

One exception to the typical procedure for hiring foreign nationals is the hiring of specialist. A specialist is a foreign national who is highly qualified in a certain field. Specialists are not subject to the same immigration requirements of general workers and must be paid a salary of at least RUB 2 million ($30,000). A specialist may be issued a work permit and visa for up to three years.

Jus Privatum Can Advise You on Employment Contracts

When you work with the legal and business advisors at Jus Privatum, we will help you draft employment contracts to your best advantage within the parameters of Russian law. Eliminate the confusion and guesswork. Use the form on this page to get in touch with us today.


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