the labour Ministry has prepared a document on the special order of layoffs and the introduction of the idle mode during a pandemic. The draft also stipulates output conditions of workers in shifts and the right to modify their obligations without consent.

the Ministry of labour and social protection has prepared a draft government resolution “On peculiarities of legal regulation of labor relations in 2020” in order to “facilitate communication between the employer and employees” in the context of pandemic COVID-19. The document is at the disposal of RBC, its authenticity was confirmed by a source close to the government and the representative of the Ministry of labor.

the Ministry sent a draft resolution for consideration by the Russian tripartite Commission on regulation social labor relations (between the government, employers, trade unions) in accordance with standard regulations, then the document can be submitted to the government. “The document in its current form is a compilation of suggestions from all sides of social partnership”, — explained RBC in the Ministry of labor.

the Agency in the decision suggests that the government first take advantage of a temporary right to establish special regulation of labour relations in the period of struggle with the spreading of the coronavirus infection, which must appear at the office after the entry into force of the relevant amendments. To date, the state Duma adopted the law in three readings, it requires the approval of the Federation Council and the President.

Retreating from the Labour code regulation is proposed to extend only to 2020. Trade unions and experts have criticised these amendments on seeing the extraordinary powers of the government risks the dismantling of labor legislation.

Rules of downtime and layoffs in quarantine

Labor laws in the provision gives the employer three main ways of optimisation of personnel: introduction downtime, downsizing or the number of transfer and part-time. Principles of conduct of employers and employees in terms of quarantine measures in existing laws not specifically spelled out.

the Draft resolution proposes to establish that in the period of forced suspension of activities of the company due quarantine restrictions workers cannot be sent in a simple or dismiss, at the initiative of the employer. “The termination of the employment relationship with the employee, who is subject to the restrictive measures implemented on the initiative of the worker (at own will) or by agreement of the parties”, — is spoken in the document.

But it is proposed that in case of reduction of number or staff, if the notice period of the employees expires during the period of quarantine, dismissal occurs only afterfurther restrictive measures on the next working day after that, follows from the project of the Ministry of labor. Under the Labour code, the employer is obliged to warn employees about the impending dismissal in connection with liquidation of organization or staff reduction, no later than two months before the dismissal.

with respect To employees who are not subject to restrictive measures (employees of the enterprises of the continuous cycle, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks , etc.), according to the document, the introduction of idle time is carried out according to the current legislation:

during the period of restrictive measures, employees may be granted leave by agreement with the employer specified in the draft resolution. The “temporary disability in connection with the quarantine is not a basis for extension or transfer of the holiday,” the document says. Under the Labour code, if the period of leave the employee falls ill, the leave may be extended at the time of the hospital.

Transfer to part-time and other work

the labour Ministry proposes to reduce the period of notice the employee about the change by the employer of the employment contract and mode of operation (including the introduction of a mode of incomplete working day or incomplete working week), from two months to two weeks if the need for those caused by the quarantine restrictions noted in the draft resolution. Now, under the Labour code, about the upcoming changes to the terms of the employment contract the employer must notify the employee in writing not later than two months.

at the same time the Agency proposes to give the employer the right to transfer the employee without his consent is not conditioned by employment contract working for the same employer for a period of up to three months, the document says. Under current labour legislation, the temporary transfer to another job without the employee’s consent is possible only for one month. According to the draft of the new regulation, transfer to a job requiring lower qualifications is allowed only with the written consent of the employee, and his salary should not be below average earnings on former work.

on this norm the Ministry of labor expects the position of the trade Union side and will determine its position based on the views of trade unions, told RBC in the Ministry.

For a quick introduction of shift system the working time “for the dispersal of workers in the premises,” workload optimization, elimination of contact with an infected employee, other employees, the Ministry considers it possible to notify employees of new schedules of shift work no later than seven calendar days prior to their entry into the action that follows from the document.

Risks for workers and labor rights

Prepared by the Ministry, the draft resolution contains risks for workers, says the rector of the Financial University under the government of Alexander Safonov. “The reduction of workers’ rights caused by the circumstances of external nature, but aimed to alleviate the plight of the employer,” he said.

However, employers now have the opportunity to reduce operational costs amid falling earnings due quarantine restrictions by sending workers on unpaid leave, he added. “The main part of dismissals is through forcing the employee to leave or by agreement of the parties or on its own initiative, which suggests that many of the labor laws the way it should, do not work”, — said the expert.

the Document of the Ministry of labor is not indisputable from the point of view of content and from the point of view of its location in the system of modern Russian law, said the head of the legal Department of the “Confederation of labour of Russia” Oleg Babich. On the one hand, you can appreciate clarification of the question of when an employer can enter simple and as paid working time in this period, he said. However, there are provisions which risks for employees, for example, in terms of failure of extension of leave for the period of incapacity or temporary transfer of the worker without his consent to other work in three months rather than one month.

“I am confident that the results we get massive claims in the courts, including appeals in the Supreme and constitutional court, on the application of certain provisions of this resolution,” concluded Babich.

the Regulation of labor relations in accordance with the Constitution, Federal constitutional laws, primarily the Labor code. Federal laws, presidential decrees, government regulations and all regulations must conform and not contradict. The amendments to the Labour code, the suspension of its provisions must be implemented by separate Federal laws.

the Draft government resolution developed by the Ministry of labour, “violates the hierarchy of sources of law based on the Constitution and the Labor code,” said head of the Department of labour law and social security law, Moscow state law Academy named after O. E. Kutafin Nikita Lyutov. In his opinion, the document represents an “attempt “for the sake of revolutionary expediency” acts of the government to regulate what should be addressed at the legislative level. “However, the government avoids the imposition of emergency,” he recalls.

President Vladimir��IR Putin on may 11 announced the termination of the mode of working days. According to the presidential decree, the decisions of how exactly to remove the restrictions and in what areas and for what organizations are, on the contrary, to maintain quarantine measures will be taken by the heads of regions. My job, as it was during the unified holidays should continue continuously operating organizations, food retail, pharmacies, medical facilities, etc.

the Impact of the pandemic and declared non-working days, despite the requirement to ensure that workers salaries were the reduction of incomes of Russians, as well as unpaid leave and layoffs. The number of unemployed Russians in April rose for the month by more than 800 thousand people to 4.3 million, as estimated by Rosstat, the unemployment rate in the country increased to 5.8% of the economically active population— a maximum of four years. At the same time more than 3 million people (or about 5.5% of all employees) transferred to part-time employment, reported the Minister of labor and social protection Anton Kotkov.

“To date, almost 1.5 million workers are targeted in a simple, 1.3 million people underemployed or part-time, and about 280 thousand workers are on unpaid leave”, — he reported to the President on Wednesday, may 27.