By the Presidential Decree of 02.04.2020, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection in the Russian Federation, the period of non-working days was extended until the end of April 2020.
The list of organizations that will continue their activities hasn’t essentially been changed compared to the list given in the previous decree of the President of 25.03.2020.
1. In clause 4 of the Recommendations, organizations of the agricultural sector should include, inter alia, organizations engaged in the production of agricultural products of all kinds, agricultural engineering organizations, as well as organizations involved in spring field work.
Organizations which activities are related to the protection of public health and the prevention of new coronavirus infection also include organizations of the medical industry.
Organizations providing the population with food and essential goods should also include organizations that produce food and essential goods, including those that produce materials, ingredients, raw materials and components necessary for their production.
Continuously operating organizations also include organizations engaged in information technologies and communications, including postal services, organizations in the field of road facilities, of which those involved in the construction, maintenance of roads, bridges and tunnels.
2. The non-working days’ regime does not cover employees who ensure the continuity of the production and technological cycle in the industries listed in clause 4 of the Recommendations. Employers have the right, in agreement with the employees, to determine the need for the participation of a particular employee in the continuous production process.
3. Employees engaged in the remote work, by agreement with the employer, have the right to continue work during the period of the Decree, with mandatory compliance with the requirements of the Russian Ministry of Health and the Federal Service for the Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare for the prevention of new coronavirus infection.
During the period of the Decree, changes in the transition to the remote mode of operation can be made out by exchanging electronic images of documents, if necessary, with their subsequent execution under the established procedure.
Other companies are required to suspend their operation during the non-working weeks.
If the Presidential Decree does not cover an organization, and it continues to operate as usually, then no additional measures should be taken within the frame of labour legislation. Employees work according to their usual schedules, and their work is paid in the usual way.
For employers, who are covered by the Presidential Decree and who are forced to suspend or limit their activities, it is recommended that the following rules be observed in the part of implementation of labour relations with their employees:
Workers carrying out the remote work, in agreement with the employer, have the right to continue it during the period of the Decree with the mandatory compliance with the requirements of the Ministry of Public Health of Russia and the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare for the prevention of new coronavirus infection.
Restrictive measures can be implemented at different time periods within a month. That is, at some periods, employees can work remotely, at some periods may not work at all. The need for work is determined by the employers on their own.
Not all employees can work remotely. Employer can independently determine the list of employees who can perform their labour duties remotely.
Days from 06.04.2020 to 30.04.2020 are not referred to the category of weekends or non-working public holidays according to the meaning of Article 107 of the Labour Code of the Russian Federation, that is, they are not considered as rest periods that the employees can use at their own discretion. In this regard, the application of the provisions of the Labour Code of the Russian Federation in terms of recruiting and paying for work on the weekends and public holidays is not mandatory.
Workers with a traveling nature of work cannot work during non-working days, as remote work cannot be established to them.
During the non-working days it is impossible to declare shutdown, since these days are already non-working days, accordingly, it is impossible to suspend work if it should not be carried out a priori.
The non-working days in March and April are not a reason for reducing wages. The President in his decree ordered to keep wages for employees. From a literal interpretation of this order, it follows that for employees receiving a salary it is fully retained, and for employees whose labour is paid at hourly wage rates or piecework, the employer should make an additional payment at its discretion, but so that the rights of workers are not infringed.
Remote work is paid under the standard procedure. Workers who work remotely during non-working days and workers who do not work will receive their usual salary, that is, their work will be paid the same. But in this situation, this cannot be considered discrimination. However, the employer may, at its discretion, pay the employee additional remuneration for work during the non-working days.
To streamline work during the non-working days, it is recommended to issue an order for core activities, in which the employer determines whether the days from 06.04.20 to 30.04.20 will be non-working or remote work will be performed during certain periods, which employees will work and which will not, how the work of "remote" workers will be paid. This order will allow HR officer and accountant to correctly compile a timesheet and pay for the employees’ work.
Recommendations on registration of HR events during the non-working days
1. Termination of employees in the period from 06.04.2020 to 30.04.2020 in the organizations which are covered by the non-working days decree and which employees do not work, the termination of labor relations is not registered during this period.
These are the clarifications given in the Information letter of the MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL PROTECTION OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION of 02.04.2020 (Information of the Ministry of Labour of Russia of 02.04.2020 No. w/n Questions and Answers on the arrangement of work and observance of employees' rights during the non-working week).
At a time when work in the organization is not carried out, it is not possible to hand over the employee a work book and other mandatory documents, to acknowledge the employee with the order of dismissal against signature, and also to make final settlement to the employee.
2. Conclusion of employment contracts during the non-working days is neither prohibited by the Labour Code of the Russian Federation nor by Presidential Decree. However, in this case, it is necessary to take into account the situation in which personal contacts with a potential employee may not be possible, and the exchange of electronic documents is provided only with remote workers. Therefore, the conclusion of employment contract on remote work is possible, other situations should be considered individually.
3. In the timesheet, non-working days can be indicated by the code "В". The organization also has the right to independently approve a different code for this period, given that it is paid. In order to introduce a new code, it is required to issue an order for its approval.
If the employees of the organization work remotely, then in the timesheet, they can leave the usual code “Я” or approve a special code, for example “УР”.
Note: introducing a new code into 1C databases may require additional labour costs and expenses.
4. Vacations scheduled for April should be documented and paid on time. However, it is possible to do this if the employee was timely, not later than two weeks in advance, notified of the beginning of the vacation. There is no point to agree with the requests of employees to postpone the vacation for other dates, in this situation it is not in the interests of the employer. If the employer did not notify the employee, and the employee therefore refuses to take vacation, then it will have to be rescheduled.
Vacation on non-working days from 30.03.2020 to 30.04.2020 is documented and paid under the standard procedure. The vacation shall not be extended because of the non-working days.
5. It is not recommended to send employees on business trips during the specified period.