Ruling of Remote Working
By Roman Makarov, Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners
The COVID era demanded that the Russian Government settle the issue of remote work in more detail, which was not the focus of attention of federal legislators before.
As a result, Parliament answered several questions that life poses to employees and employers because of the massive transfer of staff to working from home. The law came into force on 01 January 2021.
The document introduces the concept of combined employment: when a person can work part of the time from home and spend the other part in the offce. How many days per week, per month or how many working hours to devote to the offce, and how many to work outside the offce, must be decided by the employer in his policies and fixed by the parties in the employment contract.
The conclusion of such an employment contract is possible using an electronic signature and does not require paperwork, traditionally used earlier.
Earlier, the law required an employee to indicate their place of remote work; the new law abandoned this relic. Now the workplace can be wherever there is the Internet.
The legislation now protects employees from unjustified dismissals per maximum. To prevent remote workers from being forced to work 24/7, it establishes that employees have every right to go offine without any consequences. If they agree to be in touch around the clock, then the employer must pay them extra for overtime work.
Additional grounds for terminating an employment contract with a teleworker are as follows:
- An employee does not interact with the employer for more than two working days in a row without a valid reason from the moment the employer’s request is received (unless a longer period is set);
- The employee changed the place of work, and this led to the impossibility of fulfilling duties on the same terms (for permanent distance employment contracts).
The beginning of a remote working day can be the time of entering the work mail, and the time of a call to the company’s reception.
Does the employer have to pay the costs of electricity, telephone, internet, or depreciation of personal equipment? The law says that compensation for employees’ personal expenses is at the goodwill of the employer. This issue can be resolved in policies or labour agreements.
Employers will be prohibited from tracking where employees work remotely.
At any rate, the remote performance of a labour function by any employee cannot be the basis for reducing their wages.
Roman MakarovGGI member firm
Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners
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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 (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine), and worldwide.
Roman Makarov specialises in dispute settlement and complex bankruptcy cases. Roman develops strategies and tactics of legal defence in court.
Published: Employment Law Newsletter, No.10, Spring 2021 l Photo: olezzo - stock.adobe.com