Country Information

This transcontinental country is located in Eastern Europe as well as Northern Asia. Russia is the largest country in the world by landmass. There are more than 100 different languages spoken throughout the country with Russian designated as the official language. Russia is host to enormous deposits of natural resources. It is the world’s sixth largest producer of uranium and ranks 13th globally in tin production. The country’s population is 144.37 million. Russian businesses remain in operation during the war with Ukraine.

Employment Contracts

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 it is strongly recommended to establish the relationship through a written contract before 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, 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.

Working Hours

The standard workweek 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, but 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 an unpaid day off. Pregnant women and employees younger than 18 may not work overtime. Women with children under three years old and employees with disabled children under 18 may only work overtime if they give consent.

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.

Sick Leave

Employees are able to take sick leave 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.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 140 days of paid maternity leave, with 70 days before the birth (84 days if she is pregnant with multiple children) and 70 days after the birth, which increases to 86 days if the birth has complications and 110 days for multiple births. During this time, she can receive a social security benefit. After she returns to work, a nursing mother is entitled to a 30-minute paid break every three hours during the workday for breastfeeding until her child is 18 months old.

If the mother has multiple children under 18 months, she is entitled to a break every hour. There is no right to paid paternity leave. A parent, relative or other person caring for a child may take childcare leave until the child is three years old. A social security benefit is available during this leave. Employees who adopt a child may take leave until 70 days after the birth of the child, or 110 days if they adopt multiple children. Adoptive parents also may take childcare leave until the child is three, according to the same rules as biological parents.


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

Vacation Leave

Employees receive a minimum of 28 days of paid leave per year. Employees who work in dangerous environments, have an unregulated workday, or work in Russia’s Far North region all receive extra paid annual leave. Employees become entitled to annual leave after six continuous months of working for an employer, although leave may be taken earlier if the employer and employee agree. Certain categories of employees are entitled to take leave before they have worked six months, the main ones being women whose maternity leave has not yet begun or who have just returned from maternity leave, employees younger than 18, and employees with a child younger than three at home.

The employer schedules employees’ leaves based on the employees’ requests and guidance received from the union or employees’ representatives. An employee must be informed of when their leave will be, a minimum of two weeks in advance. With some exceptions, if an employee is entitled to leave of more than 28 days, they can ask for a cash payment to replace the leave in excess of 28 days.

An employee who is terminated 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. Employees are permitted to take unpaid leave for specified periods of time upon written request. Disabled employees are entitled to 60 days of unpaid leave per year, and employees may take five days of unpaid leave for events such as weddings, births, and deaths in their families. Certain other categories of employees, most notably employees receiving old age pensions, are also entitled to periods of unpaid leave.

Public Holidays

The following are observed holidays in Russia:

  • 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
Health Insurance Benefits

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

Employment / Termination / Severance

An employer may terminate an employee on an indefinite contract only for a legally recognized reason. Several legally recognized reasons are not specific to the employee, such as redundancy due to reorganization of the business 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 following an elaborate procedure that involves documenting the employee’s misconduct, providing warnings and advance notice to the employee. In practice, rather going through this process, many employers arrange to terminate the employment contract by mutual consent, which can be done any time and, with some restrictions, on whatever terms the employer and employee agree on.

Fixed-term contracts are normally terminated either when the specified conditions are satisfied (e.g., completion of a project, end of the season for a contract for seasonal work, return of a permanent employee whom the fixed-term contract employee was temporarily replacing), or, if the contract had a specific end date, the contract terminates when its term expires. The employer must inform the employee at least three days in advance that the 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.

During a probation period, an employee can be terminated with three days of written notice, which much state the reason for the termination. An employee who wishes to quit must give two weeks of notice in writing. Employees are also entitled to severance in some other circumstances, such as conscription or no longer being able to work. The severance pay is generally two weeks of salary in these situations, although several other factors can affect the amount.

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.

Learn more

Partner with Atlas

Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Russia, can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.
Contact us

Global Resources

View All

Get in touch

Our team of regional experts are here to support you with your global expansion plans. If you have any questions, just get in touch and we will be delighted to help.

Valid number
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.