Moscow, Russia

Staff Optimisation During the Pandemic in Russia

By Roman Makarov, Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners

The 2020 crisis is characterised by a dramatic fall in both supply and demand. This has resulted in our customers looking to lower their costs drastically. Clients are looking to optimise their personnel. At the same time, anti-crisis legislation banned the dismissal of people in Russia last spring. We advise the following:

  1. Development of the employer’s local regulations on:
    a. Transition to a parttime working week;
    b. Transition to a parttime working day;
    c. Optimisation of expenses for social package and benefits;
    d. Sending staff on leave without pay;
    e. Transition to remote work.
  2. Refusal of outsourcing services.
  3. Refusal of freelancers and other persons working under civil law contracts (without benefits established by labour law).
  4. Participation in negotiations on the employer’s side to reduce the wage fund:
    a. Without reducing the number of staff;
    b. By reducing the number of staff.

The most popular measure was selfisolation at home. An urgent and painless transition of employees to work from home in a pandemic implies amendment to the labour contract. We drafted additional agreements to labour contracts describing:

  1. Additional responsibilities of employees for remote communication;
  2. Providing conditions for work in the home offce format (compensation for paper, ink, other consumables);
  3. Rules for setting tasks for remote employees;
  4. Tools for monitoring remote employees;
  5. Conditions for using the employer’s inventory (printers, etc.);
  6. Liability for failure to fulfil such responsibilities.

The main way to fire employees without any risks for the employer was dismissal by agreement of the parties with the payment of fair compensation (in Russia, traditionally, this is four to six months’ salaries on average).

As of August 2020, all quarantine measures for remote work and the prohibition on dismissals have been cancelled, but there is still a possibility of re-introduction if the epidemiological situation worsens.

Roman Makarov

Roman Makarov

GGI member firm
Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners
Law Firm Services
Moscow, Russia
T: +7 495 646 81 76
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Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners is a law firm established in 2006 in Moscow, Russia, and focuses on providing comprehensive legal solutions to corporate and private clients under Russian and English law. Their main practice areas are tax, corporate and M&A, arbitration and litigation, banking and finance, investments, public-private partnership, and real estate. They provide legal support to clients in Russia, CIS countries and worldwide.

Roman Makarov is a Partner of Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners, specialising in dispute settlement and complex bankruptcy cases. Roman develops strategies and tactics of legal defence in court.

Published: Labour Law Newsletter, No. 09, Autumn 2020 l Photo: bbsferrari -

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