A bill providing for the introduction of criminal liability for the dismissal of pretensioners, was passed by the Parliament in first reading on 13 September. According to the document, the offender is encouraged to impose a fine or forced to compulsory work up to 360 hours. Under the pre-retirement age of the document refers to “a period up to five years preceding the appointment of the person insured old-age pension in accordance with pension legislation of the Russian Federation”.
The representatives of “Support of Russia” asked the authorities to reconsider the measure to attract the employer to criminal liability for the dismissal of an employee approaching retirement age or at least delay it, giving businesses time to make necessary management decisions. The organization also asked to develop a set of economic measures that would encourage businesses to hire employees approaching retirement age, and save them to the workplace to retirement. Earlier, similar proposals were made by the “Business Russia”.
Small and medium businesses are concerned, first and foremost, the fact that they have to create for pretensioner special working conditions (e.g. flexible hours, part-time, additional weekend to address issues related to health, vacation, sick, etc.). This was reported in a survey conducted by the Moscow branch of “Support of Russia”, 77% of respondents. The survey was conducted in July and August among 500 entrepreneurs from Moscow and Moscow region.
Also among the reasons why small and medium businesses are not yet ready to accept and to hold for the work of pretensioners, employers indicated that older people do not own a computer and other modern technologies (57%).
Business are confused by the need for additional costs for retraining of pretensioners (47%), he also fears that older workers do not adapt well to work in a young team and will not be able to submit to younger superiors (75%).
In addition, almost 47% of respondents are afraid to hire pretensioners “due to possible labour disputes and subsequent problems with labour”. “In this regard, about 32% of potential employers do not dare to take on the job of the employee to retirement age, and 54% did expressed concern that this may inhibit the development of their business”, – the document says.
The consequences of the reform
Among the respondents, 53.2 per cent also noted that pension reform will affect their business negatively. “If we are talking about criminal liability of the employer, then, of course, is a key risk for pension reform for SMEs”, – said the head of the Department of financial ratings of the NRA Karina Artemyev.
“This initiative aims to remove the stress associated with raising the retirement age,” agrees the Deputy Director of legal Affairs NUS “Emulex” Julia Galeeva.
For small and medium business introduction such liability will have more serious consequences than for large ones. According to Karina Artemieva, “human universe” in small companies is much narrower than the large corporations, where staffing branched, and have the opportunity of job rotation within major divisions and departments.
“For SMEs, from the point of view of cost control is critical to hire duplicate staff”, – said the expert.
The introduction of criminal liability for the dismissal to retirement are likely to lead to the opposite effect, say experts interviewed by Forbes.
“If the amendments will enter into force, the business will act in predictable, that is, will be to minimize risks. Entrepreneurs will not engage with pretensioners in any relationship at all, or reduce them to a minimum”, – said a member of the Moscow branch of “Support of Russia” Dmitry Nesvetov.
About such risks, said earlier Forbes and the President of the organization “Business Russia” Alexey Repnik. According to him, entrepreneurs do not intend to dismiss their older members of staff, as their experience and qualification for many companies, indispensable.
But since entrepreneurs are often forced to part with their employees for reasons of an economic nature, in this context businessmen “are afraid to take people to work, because they understand that, regardless of the situation, they will not be able to part with them”. In this case, there is a risk that companies simply will not take new staff, says Repnik.
Too heavy a burden
Criminal prosecution of the employer seems too harsh for such violations, lawyers say. “In this case, the existence of a criminal record, in my opinion, is a much more serious consequence for a convicted employer than a fine or correctional work. It is obvious that there are signs of violation of balance of public interests, not to mention the interests of business” – says the managing partner of “criminal law and Business,” Alexander Pakhomov.
That dangerous business it is the fact of criminal prosecution, agrees and Julia Galeeva of “Amulets”. According to her, this initiative could eventually lead to such negative consequences as increase of informal employment, the involvement of less skilled workers and to the decline of labor discipline from the “pretensioner”.