Russian Federation: Trade unions obtain new teleworking legislation

New legislation adopted by the parliament of the Russian Federation will offer several benefits to workers by reinforcing social dialogue and collective agreements. The new law will enter into force on 1 January 2021.

MOSCOW-(ACTRAV Info) State Duma, the parliament of the Russian Federation, has adopted new labour code amendments on the regulation of teleworking, after a series of tripartite discussions initiated by trade unions. The new law, which will come into force on 1 January 2021, includes several benefits for workers:

  • It will no longer be possible to terminate an employment contract directly on the grounds of the contract itself. Now, an employment contract during teleworking can be terminated only on the general grounds set forth in the Labour Code.
  • Teleworking conditions will be regulated not only by an employment contract, but also by collective agreements.
  • Employees can only be required to prepare reports, respond to letters from the employer, and conduct telephone conversations with them during working hours.
  • The employer must provide equipment, software, hardware, information security systems and other means to the employee during teleworking. When an employee uses their own equipment, the employer must compensate for the corresponding expenses.

At the initiative of the trade unions of the Russian Federation, State Duma launched discussions on Labour Code amendments regarding the regulation of teleworking. Trade union-friendly members of the Russian Parliament, united under the inter-factional group “Solidarity”, then began to prepare the draft federal law. Their working group also included representatives of the parties to the social partnership: the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR), the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and the Russian Federation government.

The working group has put forth a number of amendments to the Labour Code, the most important of which address Chapter 49.1 on “Peculiarities of regulating the work of remote workers”. Trade union positions were discussed and closely coordinated by the two major trade union federations that are members of Russia’s national Tripartite Commission: the FNPR and the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR). Thanks to their consolidated actions, the majority of their proposals have been accepted by the Parliament working group and are reflected in the draft law that has been discussed and approved by the national Tripartite Commission.

Following the adoption of this new legislation on teleworking, trade unions in the Russian Federation have expressed their appreciation to the ILO/ACTRAV for its Practical Guide on Teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond , which was translated into Russian. The trade unions were also grateful to participate in the sub-regional technical webinar on Effective Teleworking Practices held on 28 August 2020.

For more information, please contact ILO Moscow

The article published on ILO-Moscow webpage