20.06.2021

The project of the Ministry of Labor will reduce the salary of Russians

The Ministry of Labor has developed a draft resolution on the features of the regulation of labor relations. From the document, among other things, it follows that until the end of 2020, the hospital received “in connection with quarantine” is not a basis for extending or postponing planned leave. Whether this rule applies to Russians from risk groups who were on sick leave as ordered by the authorities is not clear.

MK repeatedly wrote about the “anti-crisis” law, which was adopted by the State Duma in three readings and is now awaiting approval by the Federation Council and the president’s signature. This law included many of the most diverse measures. One of them is absolutely emergency: the government gains the right until the end of 2020 to regulate relations between workers and employers by its decisions. By the way, one of the largest employers in Russia, the country of officials and security officials, is the state itself.

The government did not disclose in advance its plans – what exactly and in which direction it was going to play along in the complicated relations between workers and employers, and the deputies voted, one might say, for a “pig in a poke.” And now, although the law has not yet been enacted, on May 29 the Ministry of Labor invited the Russian tripartite commission (it includes officials, representatives of trade unions and employers’ associations) to discuss the currently prepared remote resolution “On the peculiarities of regulating labor relations in 2020” …

The text of the document is at the disposal of MK, and I hope that it will be finalized, and many important details will be clarified. Otherwise, problems in the courts, where citizens will inevitably soon fall, will not be enough. In addition, the Labor Code has not been canceled, and in all other matters except those regulated by the government, it continues to operate.

Here are just some of the most important, in our opinion, innovations.

On the issue of dismissal of workers, the Ministry of Labor has a different approach to workers in industries that are subject to restrictive measures – and industries to which such measures do not apply.

The document contains a reference to the presidential decree of May 11, 2020. It will not be possible to dismiss employees of enterprises that are closed by order of the authorities on the initiative of the employer. But it is possible if the employee wants to leave of his own free will or by agreement of the parties. What is sometimes hidden behind our own desire – we all know very well.

But if organizations or enterprises worked in the epidemic, because they were allowed by the presidential decree, they can be fired there according to the old rules, that is, at the request of the employer too. Recall: the president allowed continuous-cycle enterprises, pharmacies, hospitals and polyclinics to work, all those who provide the population with food and basic necessities, repairmen and movers, emergency services, and partially banks and officials.

In certain cases, employees of these organizations and institutions can be sent to a simple one. If the “temporary stoppage” of their work is somehow connected with the epidemic, the employer has the right to pay them two thirds of the tariff rate or salary. But tariff rates and salaries in the public sector and not only are often set below the minimum wage (12310 rubles per month), the law allows, and to the minimum wage level the salary “catches up” with various incentive, bonus and other allowances. This means that a worker who falls under a simple job may end up with incomes of 5-6 thousand rubles per month, which is lower than unemployment benefits.

There is one more provision in the document that will allow employers, many of whom are currently experiencing far from good times, to save on salaries, and the state on unemployment benefits. Part-time work and part-time work are completely allowed, and the employer will have to notify that you can go a day less and get less for it no later than two weeks before the new schedule takes effect.

The same deadline is set for warnings about transferring to partially remote or completely remote work. The draft resolution recommends that, as a matter of priority, pregnant women, parents with young children and persons with disabilities be transferred to such a schedule. Now, by the way, when transferring to a part-time or a week, it is necessary to warn 2 months in advance, not later.

If we take into account that for many workers, especially in private enterprises, the minimum wage is indicated in the labor contracts as the salary, and the rest is in envelopes, then employers will have the opportunity, if things are really bad, pay less than the minimum wage. After all, the Labor Code guarantees the Russians a salary of at least a minimum wage only at full load and a full working week …

In addition, the employer receives the right to transfer his employee to another job without the consent of the latter (it will be required only if they are transferred to a lower-skilled work) for a period of up to three months, and not one month, as now. This will be possible “to prevent an epidemic, eliminate its consequences”, or in the case of a temporary suspension of work, the replacement of a temporarily absent employee – for example, sitting in quarantine.

Another point of bewilderment is the proposal not to consider temporary disability “in connection with quarantine” as the basis “for prolonging or postponing vacation”. How to understand this is not clear.

The usual procedure is as follows: if a person falls ill during a vacation, he is paid sick leave, and then the vacation is extended for the same number of days. This is due to the fact that the employer pays for the first three days of the sick leave, the Social Insurance Fund pays for the rest, and the employer pays for the vacation, and the rules for calculating vacation and sick leave are different. What does “in connection with quarantine” mean? If the sick leave is discharged to the patient with a coronavirus, or a carrier of the virus, or a representative of the risk group, who is prescribed and stay healthy at home? Who will pay, and in what amount, if this sick leave falls wholly or partially on a planned vacation – with this approach?

One of the main questions that arises after reading the draft resolution is from what date these new rules will come into force. Since the adoption of the decree by the government, what can happen no earlier than next week? That is, from the beginning of June? But the restrictions of varying degrees of rigidity have been in force for more than two months now … Let’s pretend that “what happened was something passed”, and will it be different in the future? Yes, it is possible to enact new rules retroactively, if they do not worsen the situation of citizens. But what is good for workers – bad for employers, or bad for both …

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