More and more employers worldwide arrange for their employees work from home due to spreading COVID-19 pandemic. In Russia, in order to do that the employers have to change the nature of employees’ work to the remote one.

We have prepared the following summary of Labor Code of Russia requirements and recent clarifications of state authorities which employers need to consider arranging remote work for the employees.

How to document transfer of the employee to work remotely (from home)?

According to Russian legislation there are two options for changing the work of an employee who was originnally hired to work at the employer’s office to remote work:

  1. by signing additional agreement to employee’s employment contract (upon employee’s consent or request), or
  2. by issuing an order changing organizational working conditions, outlining the reasons for such a change and giving two months’ notice of the change to the employees.

In the meantime, as per the most recent clarifications of Federal Labor and Employment Service of Russia employers should use the first option if they want their employees to work remotely for preventing their COVID-19 contamination and further transmission of the virus.

In addition, the state authorities specifically state that “in case employees do not want to work from home (remotely), they have the right to continue working from office because for the time being there are no governmental regulations requiring employees to work remotely”.

What to include into the additional agreement for remote work?

Additional agreement establishing remote work for the employee shall contain the following terms:

  1. change of the nature of work to remote one,
  2. term for which parties agreed the employee to work remotely,
  3. method of exchanging electronic documents by the parties, including timeframe for the parties to confirm the receipt of electronic documents,
  4. whether the employee is going to use their equipment for work (including amount of compensation to be paid to the employee for such use) or the employer is going to provide the employees with their equipment (as well as compensate employee’s expenses for its maintenance),
  5. programs and tools that the employee shall use to ensure security of employer’s confidential information,
  6. procedure and timeframes of employee’s reporting on status of work,
  7. work schedule (by default, the employee is entitled to determine their working hours at their own discretion, unless the agreement provides otherwise),
  8. supervision mechanisms (for example, mandatory availability of the employee for video call at particular times, response time to telephone call).

The parties can also include into the agreement additional grounds for dismissal upon initiative of the employer. However, such grounds should be work-related and should not be discriminatory.

Please kindly note that the employer cannot use the transfer of the employee to remote work as a reason for change of the employee’s salary.

In case you need any consultation or other legal assistance with respect to actions related to COVID-19 pandemic, please feel free to contact LEGAL PRO team. We are always happy to assist you and provide all necessary support.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels