Until 17 May 2019, public discussions will be held on the draft law developed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation on amendments to the Labour Code of the Russian Federation (the "Draft"). Below we give an overview of what we think are the most interesting amendments proposed by this Draft:

1. Extension of a fixed-term employment contract

The Draft raises the possibility of extending a fixed-term employment contract. The contract may be extended once for a period not exceeding five years, provided that the basis for conclusion of the initial fixed-term contract has not changed.

At present, the possibility of extending the fixed-term employment contract is not provided for as a rule.

The authors of the Draft note that the extension is possible only in circumstances where it is in the interests of the parties, is based on objective grounds, and simplifies the execution of personnel decisions. In all other cases, a fixed-term contract will be transformed into an open-ended contract.

2. Term of notification of changes to the terms of the employment contract

Currently, if an employment contract is to be altered due to changes in organizational or technological working conditions, the employee must be notified of such changes two (2) months in advance.

The Draft proposes to grant the employer the right to notify the employee of such changes not two but only one month in advance, with an account to the decision of the elective body of the primary trade union organization.

The authors of the Draft believe that a two-months notification period does not allow the employer to promptly adjust to the changes in production volumes and working conditions at the workplace as a result of the improvement measures (for example, gradual redistribution of employees between subdivisions).

3. Disciplinary liability

The Draft proposes to expand a list of periods of employee's absence from his/her work-place not included in the monthly period during which an employee may be imposed to a disciplinary action.

In particular, it is assumed that the monthly period will not include periods of the employee's absence from work if his/her job is retained during that period. For example, the periods of employee's business trips, inter-shift rest, rest days for work on weekends or public holidays, etc. will not be included in the monthly period.

4. Termination of the employment contract with the head of a separate subdivision

It is proposed to make the termination of the employment contract on the basis of an unjustified decision and a single gross violation of labour duties applicable not only to the heads of branches and representative offices but to the heads of other separate subdivisions as well.

5. Notification period in case of returning from child care leave

It is proposed that an employee will have to give 5 days' notice to the employer prior to his/her return from child care leave, and the employer will have to give 3 days' notice to a replacement employee prior his/her dismissal. At present, there are no established time periods for such notices.

The authors of the Draft note that the amendments to the Russian Labour Code will allow taking into account the employee's wish to return to work prior to the scheduled date and give the replacement employee the opportunity to prepare for the forthcoming dismissal.

6. Holiday payments

It is proposed that in cases when an employee submits a request for holiday not scheduled in the holiday plan less than 3 days prior to its beginning, the employer must pay for such a holiday within the period agreed by the parties to the employment contract, but not later than three working days from the date the request was submitted.

Currently, there is extensive practice of bringing employers to administrative liability in cases where they do not have time to pay for such unplanned leave. As a result, the employers prefer not to grant holidays in short notice cases.

We will monitor the status of the draft law and keep you updated.

Source: https://regulation.gov.ru/

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