Coronavirus. What should Employers do? Updated

18.03.2020

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP, formerly Goltsblat BLP in Russia, advises that Russia’s measures of response to the coronavirus threat have been extended. Here we review the most important recent developments affecting employers.

RESTRICTED ENTRY FOR FOREIGNERS

With a view to reducing the risk of coronavirus spreading further, the Russian Government has adopted a Directive (RUS) restricting entry to the country for foreigners and stateless persons, including those coming from Belarus, from 12 am on 18 March 2020 through 12 am on 1 May 2020. This means that foreign employees who are currently outside Russia will not be able to return to Russia within this period until the restriction is lifted.

Exception is made for foreign employees who reside permanently in Russia, defined as foreign citizens with leave to remainholding a permanent residence permit in Russia, irrespective of why the leave permit was granted. Such foreigners may freely enter Russia while the restriction is in effect. Even so, it should be remembered that the self-isolation requirement applies to everyone, irrespective of citizenship.

ANTIVIRAL MEASURES IN MOSCOW

On 16 March 2020, the Mayor of Moscow issued a Decree (RUS) extending the range of measures to combat coronavirus in Moscow.

List of coronavirus-impacted countries

The list of countries on returning from which individuals must self-isolate at home for 14 days has been extended, currently to include: all EU states, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, the UK, the USA, China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Andorra, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vatican, Republic of San Marino and Croatia.

In the initial Mayoral Decree (RUS), this list included only some of the above countries and “other countries with an unfavourable coronavirus situation” as per the list approved by the Moscow Department of the Federal Supervisory Service for Consumer Rights’ Protection and Human Well-being (Rospotrebnadzor). Yet no such list has been published by the authority, giving rise to uncertainty for both employees and employers as to whether self-isolation is required. The new document deals with this, offering an exhaustive list of relevant states.

Self-isolation of relatives

According to the new Mayoral Decree, the self-isolation requirement applies to:

  • all those arriving from the given countries with an unfavourable coronavirus situation;

  • people subject to a resolution of a sanitary officer requiring self-isolation at home;

  • people living with the above persons.

Employees with family obligations

The Decree also provides for suspension of school attendance for pupils in grades 5-11 from 21 March 2020 through 12 April 2020. Consequently, an employee might need time to be together with a child. In such circumstances, the employee and employer should discuss choosing one of the following options:

  • granting the employee unpaid leave;

  • granting the employee annual paid leave;

  • the employer organising remote work for the employee from home.

The Decree does not impose any restrictions on or suspension of attendance of educational institutions by 1-4th year pupils or preschool children.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP, formerly Goltsblat BLP in Russia, will continue monitoring the situation and keep you informed about any relevant changes.

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Ksenia Soboleva

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