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Work Hours


Russia is the largest country in the world, spanning the easternmost part of Europe and northern Asia to the Pacific Ocean. It is home to almost 200 officially recognized ethnic groups. Russian is the national language, but there are more than 100 different languages spoken there. Most of the country is sparsely populated. Around 10% of Russia’s 145 million people live in and around the capital, Moscow, with another 5 million living in and around the second largest city, Saint Petersburg.

Russia is host to enormous deposits of natural resources. In addition to being a major producer and exporter of oil and gas, it is a world leader in production of uranium and tin. Its largest trading partners are China and the countries of Europe.

Employment contracts in Russia can be either for an indefinite period or for a fixed term not exceeding five years. A fixed-term contract is allowed only in cases provided for by law. An employment contract must be written in the Russian language, and the employer and employee must each receive a copy with both parties’ signatures. An employment relationship can be created without a written contract if the employee begins work with the employer’s knowledge and implied consent, but the employer and employee must sign a written contract within three days after the employee begins work.

For fixed-term contracts, the term must be explicitly stated in the contract, or it will be automatically converted to an indefinite contract. The contract may establish a probation period, which may not exceed three months (six months for some executive positions).

As part of the hiring process, the candidate must provide the employer with identification documents, their official labor book, which records the candidate’s work experience, their registration in the social security system, and documentation of the candidate’s education and qualifications for the job. If it is necessary for the job the candidate is being hired for, the candidate will also present their criminal record or official document certifying that they have no criminal record. Workers under the age of 18 must also receive a medical exam to ensure they are fit to work.

The standard workweek in Russia is 40 hours over five days for most workers. Employees under 16 are limited to 24 hours per week, and employees between 16 and 18 are capped at 35 hours per week, along with certain categories of disabled employees. Workers in particularly dangerous jobs cannot work more than 36 hours per week.

Overtime is limited to four hours over two consecutive days and 120 hours per year. Employees must give written consent to work additional hours. The first two hours of overtime are paid at 150% of the employee’s basic rate of pay, and any additional hours are paid 200% of the basic rate. An employee must consent to work on a weekend, public holiday, or another day the employee would normally be off work. The employee must either be paid 200% of their usual rate or be paid the normal rate and receive annother day off. Pregnant women and employees younger than 18 may not work overtime.

Employees are also paid a premium for work performed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., with the precise rate being determined by the employer in consultation with employee representatives, and taking into account provisions of the employee’s contract and any relevant collective agreement.

Employees can take sick leave in Russia for themselves or to care for a sick family member. The employer pays the first three days of sick leave, after which the employee receives a social security payment. The employee should give the employer a doctor’s note, but the employee may do this after returning to work.

Female employees receive 140 days of paid maternity leave in Russia. They are entitled to 70 days before the birth and 70 days after the birth. During this time, she can receive a social security benefit.

There is no right to paid paternity leave in Russia.

Russia has a national minimum wage. Regions may establish their own minimum wage, but it may not be lower than the national minimum. Performance-based bonuses are common, and some companies provide a 13th month bonus.

An employee who is terminated in Russia must be paid for unused vacation time, or the employee may use their remaining leave and be paid at their regular rate of pay during this vacation time.

In Russia, the public holidays are

  • New Year's

  • Orthodox Christmas

  • Defenders of the Fatherland Day

  • International Women’s Day

  • Spring and Labour Day

  • Victory Day

  • Day of Russia

  • National Unity Day

Russia has universal healthcare. Some large employers provide private health insurance for their employees.

An employer may terminate an employee in Russia if they have a reason. Some reasons are not specific to the employee, such as redundancy due to reorganization or staff cuts. Others are specific to the employee, such as the employee becoming unable to perform the job, repeated failure to fulfill the requirements of their job, or a single act of serious misconduct such as unauthorized absence without a valid reason, being intoxicated at work, or stealing from the employer. Terminating an employee for poor performance or serious misconduct requires documenting the employee’s misconduct, providing warnings and advance notice to the employee.

An employer must inform the employee at least three days in advance that a fixed-term contract is about to expire and advise that the contract will not be extended or renewed. If the employer does not do this and the employee continues working, the contract is automatically converted to an indefinite contract.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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