Foreign Household Help To Be Licensed
A draft law is being prepared in the Federation Council to legalize foreign workers employed domestically. Russians who hire foreign household workers will be required to obtain a license for their employment, which will serve in place of a work permit. The bill is being sponsored by deputy chairman of the Council’s Commission on National Policy Vladimir Slutsker. He named workers who are engaged in remodeling, gardening, childcare and housework among those who would be subject to the new licensing procedure, which would cost their employers 1500 rubles to 2500 rubles per month, depending on the region of Russia.
Foreigners working in large companies receive work permits through their employers, who conclude contracts with them and pay the appropriate taxes. That rarely happens in the case of the 4 million foreign workers employed in domestic settings, the authors of the law say. The price of the license would replace those tax payments. It would also oblige employers to provide minimal health insurance.
Slutsker said the procedure for granting the license is still under discussion. It has not been decided whether the employer or the employee should be the purchaser of the license. Nor has it been decided who will sell it, although the Federal Migration Service is the most appropriate agency. FMS press secretary Konstantin Poltoranin praised the initiative saying that “everyone will be satisfied – the FMS agent, the employee and [the employer].” Observers say, however, that domestic workers are taken from poor countries because their labor is inexpensive. Attempts to control and tax their labor will most likely lead to drive them even farther underground. They also note that the cost of a work permit is 1000 rubles, while the license is much more expensive.
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