Labor Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

The principal Russian statute governing employment is the Labor Code, which is supplemented by other labor-related laws and regulations.

The major issue on which labor law has focused recently is accidents at work. Legislative action in this area has been supported by numerous inspections by state employment services and prosecutors’ offices.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

A standard workweek generally may not exceed 40 hours. 


Working time routine should include the duration of the working week (five-day with two days off, six-day with one day off, work week with days off according to the rolling schedule, part-time work week), work with irregular work hours for certain categories of workers, duration of daily work ( shifts), including part-time work (shifts), start and end times, break times, the number of shifts per day, alternation of working and non-working days, which are established by the internal labor regulations in accordance with labor legislation and other regulatory legal acts containing labor law norms, a collective agreement, agreements, and for employees whose working hours differ from the general rules, established by this employer – by an employment contract.


Flexible Working

When working in flexible working hours, the beginning, end, or total length of the working day (shift) is determined by the agreement of the parties. The employer ensures that the employee fulfills the total number of working hours during the respective accounting periods (working day, week, month, and others).


Shift Work

Shift work is work in two, three, or four shifts. It is introduced in cases where the duration of the production process exceeds the permissible duration of daily work, as well as in order to more efficiently use the equipment, increase the volume of products or services provided. 


Working in shifts each group of employees is to do work within the established working hours in accordance with the shift operation schedule.


Shorter Working Time

For workers employed in work with harmful and (or) hazardous working conditions, where shorter working time is established, the maximum allowable daily work (shift) duration cannot exceed: 

    • at 36-hour working week – 8 hours;
    • with a 30-hour working week or less – 6 hours.

Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts. 91-94.


Overtime work is work performed by the employee on the initiative of the employer outside the working hours established for the employee: daily work (shift), and when summing up work time, over the normal number of working hours for the accounting period.

Overtime pay is 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for the first two hours beyond normal working hours and double times the regular rate of pay for all working hours beyond that. 


Overtime cannot exceed 4 hours in 2 days or 120 hours in a year for each employee. At the request of the employee, additional rest time can be given instead of increased pay, but not less than the time worked overtime.


Collective bargaining agreements can also address the specific compensation granted during overtime work. Employees must give written consent to work overtime. Employers must record all overtime hours for employees. Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts. 99 (Russian).

Night Work

Night work is defined as that performed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. 


Each hour of night work is paid in an increased amount compared to work under normal conditions, but not lower than the amounts established by labor legislation and other regulatory legal acts containing labor law norms. The specific amount of the increase in wages for night work is established by a collective agreement or an employment contract.


Employees who were not hired to do night work and who do not already have shortened workdays must have their shifts shortened by one hour when they do night work.  Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts. 96 (Russian). 


Workers are entitled during each workday to a meal/rest break of not less than 30 minutes and not more than two hours which is not included in working hours. Employers are not required to provide a meal break during any work shift that lasts fewer than four hours. 

In jobs where, under the terms of production (work), it is not possible to provide a break for rest and meals, the employer must provide the employee with the opportunity to rest and eat during working hours.


Women with children up to 1 1/2 years old are entitled to take half-hour breaks every three hours to feed the child. If the mother has two or more children that young, she must be given hourly breaks. Breaks to feed children are included in working time. Pregnant women cannot be dismissed except due to the liquidation of the business. Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts.108, 109 (Russian). 


Weekly Rest

The workweek must include a rest period of 42 continuous hours, whether the workweek is five or six days.  The period of a weekly rest shall be calculated from the moment of the end of work on the eve of the day off and until the start of work on the day after the day off.


All employees are given days off (weekly continuous rest). With a five-day workweek, employees are given two days off per week, with a six-day workweek, one day off. A common day off is Sunday. Both days off are usually provided in a row.  The second day off for a five-day workweek is established by a collective agreement or internal labor regulations. 


For employers whose suspension of work on weekends is not possible due to production, technical and organizational conditions, days off are provided on different days of the week. Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts. 110, 111 (Russian).

Work On Rest Days


Payment for Working on Weekend

Work on a weekend is paid at least twice the regular rate of pay. At the request of the employee who worked on a weekend or non-working holiday, he may be given another day off. 


Work performed in excess of working hours on weekends and non-working holidays and paid in an increased amount or compensated by the provision of another day of rest shall not be taken into account when determining the duration of overtime work payable in an increased amount. Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts. 110, 111 (Russian).

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to the following 8 paid public holidays:

      • January 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 – New Year holidays;
      • Jan. 7: Nativity of Christ
      • Feb. 23: Defenders of the Fatherland Day
      • March 8: International Women’s Day
      • May 1: Spring and Labor Day
      • May 9: Victory Day
      • June 12: Russia Day
      • Nov. 4: National Unity Day

Holiday which falls on Weekend

Holidays that fall on weekends are observed on the next business day.  If the weekend and non-working holidays coincide, the day off is postponed to the next day after the holiday working day with the exception of Holidays for New Year and Nativity of Christ. 


The Government of the Russian Federation shall postpone two days off from days off that coincide with non-working holidays i.e. New Year Holidays and Nativity of Christ to other days in the next calendar year.


The duration of a working day or shift immediately preceding a non-working holiday is reduced by one hour. On the eve of days off, the duration of work during a six-day working week may not exceed five hours.


In continuously operating organizations and in certain types of work, where it is impossible to reduce the duration of work (shift) on the pre-holiday day, the processing is compensated by providing the employee with additional rest time or, with the consent of the employee, payment according to the norms established for overtime work. 


Pay for Work on Holiday

Employees cannot generally be required to work on holidays, although they can agree to work based on agreement. For companies with continuous operations (e.g., factories, stores), work on holidays may be authorized. 


Employees who work on holidays get double pay or an additional day off. Collective agreements or individual employment contracts may specify higher payment rates.


Payment in an increased amount is made to all employees for hours actually worked on a weekend or non-working holiday. If a part of the working day (shift) falls on a weekend or non-working holiday, the hours paid are actually paid for hours actually worked on the weekend or non-working holiday (from 0 hours to 24 hours).  Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts. 112, 125, 153 (Russian).

Annual Leave

Annual basic paid leave is granted to employees with a duration of 28 calendar days. The right for the use of the leave for the first year of work shall arise for the employee upon the expiry of six months of uninterrupted work with the given employer. If there is an agreement between the parties, the employee may take paid leave before the expiry of the six months. The leave for the second and subsequent years of work may be provided at any time of the working year according to the order for taking annual paid leave adopted by the given employer.


Annual leave does not need to be taken all at once, but at least one increment must be 14 or more calendar days if there is an agreement between the employee and the employer.  Employees can ask for compensation in lieu of any annual leave entitlement in excess of 28 days. Unused vacation may be carried over to the following year in exceptional circumstances.


Exceptional cases: Annual additional paid holidays are granted to workers employed in work with harmful and (or) hazardous working conditions, workers with a special nature of work, workers with irregular working hours, workers working in the Far North, and equivalent areas. The minimum duration of annual additional paid leave to employees is 7 calendar days. 


Workers with irregular working hours are granted annual additional paid leave, the duration of which is determined by the collective agreement or internal labor regulations and which cannot be less than three calendar days.


Calculation of Duration of Annual Leave

The duration of the annual basic and additional paid leave of employees is calculated in calendar days and is not limited to a maximum limit. 


In exceptional cases, when the provision of leave to an employee in the current working year may adversely affect the normal course of work of an organization, transfer of leave to the next working year is allowed with the consent of the employee. In this case, leave must be used no later than 12 months after the end of the working year for which it is granted.


Annual Leave Pay

The employee going on vacation is paid the average earnings. To calculate the average wage, all the types of payments provided by the system of remuneration applied by the respective employer, regardless of the sources of these payments, are taken into account. In any operating mode, the average wage of an employee is calculated based on the wage actually accrued to him and the time actually worked by him for 12 calendar months preceding the period during which the average wage is retained for the employee.  Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts. 115-122, 139.

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2021, the national minimum wage is 12,792 Rubles/month.

Special Leave

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 70 days of paid pre-natal leave, extended to 84 days if more than one child is expected, and 70 days of postnatal leave, extended to 86 days in cases of complications in childbirth or 110 days in the event of the birth of two or more children.

Allowances during pregnancy and maternity leave are paid by the Social Insurance Fund. The Labor Code prohibits business trips, overtime work, night work or work on days off and holidays for pregnant women. A woman with a child under 3 years of age also cannot be required to perform such duties. Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), arts. 255, 261 (Russian).

Adoption Leave

Employees who adopt children shall be granted leave for a period beginning from the date of adoption and up to 70 calendar days from the birth of the adopted child (in the case of adoption of two or more children, 110 calendar days from their birth). If an employee who has adopted a child or children wishes, he shall be granted child care leave until the child or children reaches three years of age.


In the event of the adoption of a child or children by both spouses, the indicated leave shall be granted to one of the spouses at their discretion. Women who adopt a child shall have the option, instead of taking the leave indicated in the first part, of taking maternity leave time for a period beginning from the date of adoption and up to 70 calendar days, and if adopting two or more children at the same time, 110 calendar days from their date of birth. Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), art. 257 (Russian).

Parental Leave

Parents are entitled to leave to care for a child under 3 years of age. Child care leave is paid through the Social Insurance Fund at 40 percent of regular wages until a child is 11/2 years of age. Employees who have three or more children under the age of 12 are entitled to take parental leave at a time that is convenient for them. New fathers qualify for parental leave. Law on Compulsory Social Insurance for Temporary Disability, arts. 5, 11.2 (Russian).

Sick Child Leave

Medical care is free to employees through the social security system and is partially funded by employers. Employees unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or other injury are entitled to sick leave compensation until they can return to work. The employer pays a temporary disability allowance for the first three days and the Social Insurance Fund pays for the remainder of the time. The employer can offset its expenses against its Social Insurance Fund liability. The amount of the sick leave benefit depends on how long an employee has been covered under the social security system:

      • Less than six months: minimum wage;
      • More than six months and up to five years: 60% of average earnings;
      • More than five years and up to eight years: 80% of average earnings; and
      • More than eight years: 100% of average earnings.

These amounts are paid for the first 10 days of leave. Thereafter, payments are reduced by 50%. Law on Compulsory Social Insurance for Temporary Disability, arts. 5, 11.2 (Russian).

Unpaid Leave

For family reasons and other good reasons, the employee can be granted leave without pay, upon written request, the duration of which is determined by agreement between the employee and the employer. The employer is obliged, on the basis of a written application from the employee, to provide leave without pay: 

        • participants of the Great Patriotic War – up to 35 calendar days a year;
        • working old-age pensioners (by age) – up to 14 calendar days a year; 
        • parents and wives (husbands) of military personnel, employees of the internal affairs bodies, the federal fire service, customs authorities, employees of institutions and bodies of the penal system who died or died as a result of injury, contusion or injury received in the performance of military service (service) duties, or due to a disease associated with military service (service), up to 14 calendar days a year; 
        • working disabled people – up to 60 calendar days a year; 
        • employees in cases of childbirth, marriage registration, death of close relatives – up to five calendar days; 

Upon mutual agreement between an employer and an employee, unpaid leave may be granted to the employee for an unlimited period of time. Labor Code, 2001, No. 197-FZ (as amended), art. 128 (Russian).

Last updated on: April 28th, 2021