At a Glance

  • Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum salary level in Belarus has increased to BYN 375, up 13.6 percent from 2019. As a result, the minimum salary requirement for highly-qualified foreign employees should now exceed BYN 5,625 per month (15 times the minimum salary level).
  • Employers should check highly-qualified foreign employees' salaries to ensure compliance with the increased minimum salary level.

The situation

  • Minimum salary. Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum salary level in Belarus has increased to BYN 375, up 13.6 percent from 2019.
  • Salary for highly-qualified employees. As a result, the minimum salary requirement for highly-qualified foreign employees should exceed BYN 5,625 per month (15 times the minimum salary level).
  • Exchange rate. The exchange rate at the time of publication of this alert is 1 BYN to 0.47 USD at the rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.

A closer look

Employers of highly-qualified foreign employees seeking to obtain or renew a work permit on or after January 1, 2020 must increase their highly-qualified foreign employees' salaries to comply with the new amounts (if necessary). Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.

Reminders on other requirements

As before, employers and foreign employees must account for the following:

Category Detailed requirements

Requirement for non-highly qualified employees

Non-highly qualified employees must receive sufficient salary to support themselves and accompanying family members, taking into account the actual cost of living.

Sufficient funds for family 

Foreign employees must have access to once the minimum subsistence amount, currently BYN 231.83, per accompanying dependent per month. The minimum subsistence amount is updated quarterly; the next increase is forthcoming in February 2020. 

Funds upon entry 

Foreign nationals must also be able to prove sufficient monetary funds in the amount of BYN 1,350 per month (50 basic units), up 5.8 percent, upon entering Belarus. Foreign nationals can demonstrate access to sufficient funds via an employment contract with sufficient funds, guarantor letter or cash, among others. 

Payroll and currency

As before, foreign employees must be on Belarussian payroll. Although the salary amount may be indicated in foreign currency in the employment contract, employers are required to pay the salary in BYN.

Social security and tax

The employer contributes an additional 34% of the monthly salary as mandatory social security insurance payments. One percent of the monthly salary is withheld from the foreign national as mandatory social security insurance payment. Thirteen percent of the salary is withheld from the foreign national as personal income tax.

Background

  • Minimum salary annual increase. Belarus typically increases minimum salary levels by 8-15 percent annually.
  • Accounting for dependents. Similar to other European countries, Belarus requires foreign employees to have a legal source of income providing their accompanying family members the minimum subsistence amount. This amount typically increases by 8-15 percent annually.
  • Basic unit adjustments. Additionally, Belarus uses a standardized amount (the basic unit) to determine taxes, fines, state fees, consular fees, welfare benefits and other factors. This amount is indexed by four to seven percent annually. The government uses the basic unit to adjust fines and taxes to account for increases in the cost of living.

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects more European countries to publish increased salary levels for foreign employees in the coming weeks.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.