Changes to the Labour Code of the Russian Federation: Specifics of Regulating Labour of Employees that are Foreign Citizens or Stateless Persons

16.12.2014

Legal Update No. 485

Goltsblat BLP advises that Federal Law No. 409 "On Amending the Labour Code of the Russian Federation and Article 13 of the Federal Law "On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation” with respect to the Specifics of Regulating Labour of Employees that are Foreign Citizens or Stateless Persons" (the "Law") was adopted on 1 December 2014.

Previously, the terms for foreign citizens' participation in labour relations were determined only by Federal Law No. 115-FZ of 25 July 2002 "On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation", any gaps in legal regulation being, as a rule, filled by informal clarifications and the requirements of Federal Immigration Service officials on the basis of administrative practice established in the relevant region. 

The Law recognises employees that are foreign citizens or stateless persons ("foreign employees") as a separate category of employee whose labour regulation envisages the following specifics:

Contents of the Employment Contract

As per the new requirements, employers must include the following information in employment contracts with foreign employees:

  1. information regarding work permits or patents (if required);
  2. information regarding temporary residence permit or leave to remain;
  3. clause specifying the grounds for providing foreign employees with medical care throughout the term of their employment contracts (including voluntary medical insurance contract (policy) details or those of the agreement on providing the foreign employee with fee-based medical services made between the employer and a medical institution).

At the same time, if a properly executed employment contract is needed in order to obtain a work permit, information related to such a work-permit is added to the employment contract immediately once the work permit is obtained.

Please note that, if the above information or clauses are not included in employment contracts with already employed foreigners, these contracts are to be supplemented with such missing provisions as prescribed by the Labour Code of the Russian Federation.

Temporary Transfer

The Law specifies that employers may, under exceptional circumstances, and no more than once per calendar year, transfer foreign employees, on a temporary basis, to work not stipulated by their employment contracts for up to 1 month, irrespective of the profession stipulated in their work permits or patents.

If, upon expiry of the term of such temporary transfer, foreign employees cannot be reinstated in their previous work, their employment contracts are to be cancelled. The employment contract must also be cancelled if, owing to an emergency, the foreign employee is unable to perform the work she/he is to perform in his/her capacity and there is no possibility of her/him being temporarily transferred (since this is required once more during the same calendar year).

Suspension from work and cancellation of the employment contract

The Law specifies additional cases of suspension from work of and cancellation of employment contracts with foreign employees.

The grounds for suspending foreign employees from work include, inter alia:

  • suspension or expiry of permission for hiring foreign employees (temporarily residing foreigners or stateless persons);
  • expiry of the relevant permission documents of the foreign employee (work permit, patent, temporary residence permit, leave to remain - if required);
  • expiry of the voluntary medical insurance agreement (policy) or that on providing the Employee with fee-based medical services (for temporarily residing foreigners and stateless persons).

Additional grounds for cancelling employment contracts with foreign employees are:

  • suspension, expiry or cancellation of permission for hiring foreign employees (temporarily residing foreigners or stateless persons); if foreign employees’ work permits were issued on the basis of the above permission, they are entitled to severance pay equalling to their average salary for two weeks;
  • expiry of relevant permission documents of the foreign employee (work permit, patent, temporary residence permit, leave to remain - if required); the employment contract is cancelled one month after expiry of the given document;
  • cancellation of the above documents;
  • expiry of the voluntary medical insurance agreement (policy) or that on providing the Employee with fee-based medical services (for temporarily residing foreigners and stateless persons). The employment contract is cancelled one month after expiry of this document;
  • adjustment of the number of foreign employees to statutory limitations;
  • foreign employees may not be reinstated in their previous work and there is no opportunity for their temporary transfer (see above).

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