On 1 January 2017, a new law developed by the Russian Ministry of Labour "on independent qualification assessment" comes into force. It allows employers and trade unions to create an independent qualification assessment system against professional standards, based on confidence in the quality of this assessment by employers, employees and applicants.
The application of professional standards in relation to employee qualifications became mandatory for several types of enterprises and for certain positions on 1 July 2016 and are established in the Labor Code of the Russian Federation and other regulations (state and municipal agencies; cases when the performance of work implies compensation, privileges or restrictions imposed by the Labour Code or other federal law).
The application of a professional standard provides for the qualification appraisal of employees or persons applying to do certain types of work. It is a process of conforming applicants' qualifications to the provisions of a professional standard or qualification requirements established by federal laws and other regulations of the Russian Federation. The conforming process is to be conducted by the Qualifications Assessment Center. The procedure of preparation and application of professional standards is defined by articles 195.1, 195.2, 195.3 and 196 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation.
Currently, the system of professional standards in Russia is in the process of formation and implementation; this explains the large number of new regulations and changes in the regulatory framework. It should be noted that it is the employer's responsibility to apply the established professional standards.
The professional standards application becomes mandatory for: chief accountants at open joint-stock companies (except credit institutions), insurance companies, commercial pension funds (non-governmental owned), joint stock investment funds, management companies of unit investment funds and other economic entities whose securities are admitted to trading on organised markets (excluding credit institutions), management bodies of state extra-budgetary funds, state off-budget funds, local state off-budget funds.
State unitary enterprises and municipal state-owned enterprises, state-owned corporations and business entities, whose authorised capital more than 50% of stocks or shares owned by the state. When the execution of the work presumes state guaranteed compensation, benefits or limitations stated by the labour code or other Federal Law.
Businesses should check with their HR department on whether the application of professional standards to their particular enterprise is mandatory (or to particular positions within the company). Current employees and/or applicants should then be determined for assessment.
Failure to comply
Failure to comply with the established requirements bears the risk of a penalty. Sanctions are possible if professional standards are not applied or are applied incorrectly in situations where their use is mandatory. The prescription to eliminate violations of labour legislation could be issued. In addition, the fine may be issued: 1000 – 5000 rubles for company officials and/or 30000 – 50000 for the legal entity.
In this regard, employers should carefully monitor the changes to legislation.
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.