About the Authors
|Marina Gabrielyan, |
Marina Gabrielyan received her legal degree at the Moscow State Academy of Water Transport. She has several publications published in bulletins of academic conferences of the academy’s legal department on such topics as “Current Issues of Registration of Legal Entites” and many others. Marina has attended legal training seminars covering various branches of law and participated in migration committees. Before joining the Alinga team Marina worked in another consulting company. Currently she serves in Alinga’s legal department.
Alexandra Samsonova is a final year student specializing in civil law at The Russian New University. She is serving as a paralegal with Alinga Consulting Group and has before interned with government organs and presented at conferences.
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Workers in Russia are entitled to 28 calendar days of full vacation. This guaranteed minimum has been established by law and ensures that both Russian citizens as well as foreign citizens working in Russia will retain their job (position) and will receive their average salary.
Annual vacation is an uninterrupted, sustained period of rest offered to employees on a yearly basis in order to promote health and restore their capacity to work, while still re-taining their job (position) and their average salary.
We can distinguish between two types of annual vacation: basic vacation and additional vacation (Articles 116-119 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation).
Basic paid vacation of 28 calendar days is offered to all employees, including those working for individuals. Temporary employees are also entitled to vacation (if they have signed a contract for a period of up to two months), as well as seasonal workers, dual jobholders and those who do not work the full working day or week. Temporary employees are offered vacation or compensation which is paid at a rate of two working days per month of work if they are dismissed (Article 295 of the Labor Code). Seasonal employees are offered vacation of two calendar days for each month of work (Article 295 of the Labor Code). Dual jobholders receive vacation together with vacation from their main workplace even if they have not worked both jobs for six months; in this situation, vacation is given in advance (Article 286 of the Labor Code). Employees who do not work a full working day or week are also offered 28 calendar days of vacation.
Longer periods of basic vacation are offered for certain categories of employees, taking into account such factors as age, health conditions, level of intensity and stress involved in the work. Extended vacation is established for:
underage workers – 31 calendar days to be taken whenever convenient for them (Article 267 of the Labor Code);
teachers – from 42 to 56 calendar days depending on their place of work and position;
employees engaged in work involving chemical weapons, including in jobs related to the first group – 56 calendar days;
for jobs related to the second group – 49 calendar days; for physically impaired employees – at least 30 calendar days, and several other categories of employees.
In order to compensate for increased labor costs in harsh industrial or weather conditions, there is paid vacation that can be added to the basic vacation; for example, in rotational work. In other words, the employee has the right to full vacation even if they work every other month during the year.
If an employee is hired under the condition that they will have an irregular work schedule, they are offered additional vacation days. The minimum amount of vacation is three calendar days. Localized acts may establish even longer periods: the Labor Code does not set a maximum vacation length.
Important! If an employee has an irregular work schedule, that does not mean that they should work weekends as well. These are two completely different things. If someone is hired to work on a weekend, they are paid at double the rate or a single day of time off is added. However, the vacation is offered to the employee regardless of whether or not the employee was hired during the year to work an irregular work day. A list of positions with irregular work days should be indicated in the company’s localized act.
Those who donate blood may also count on having two days of rest. If someone donates blood, they are released from work on the day that they donate blood or components thereof, and they are also offered an additional day of rest to recuperate and support their health. Therefore, if an employee donates blood on a weekend, they have the right to two days of rest which are subject to pay in the amount of their average wage (see judicial practice of Russia’s Supreme Court for the first quarter of 2012). Moreover, it follows from the implications of Article 186, Part 4 of the Labor Code that an employee has the right to receive an additional day of rest not only from a specific employer. The employee retains this right for a year from the day that they give blood, even if they change their place of work. A certificate is issued at the donation station indicating that blood and components thereof were donated.
How is vacation duration determined?
According to Article 120 of the Tax Code, the duration of an employee’s annual paid vacation (basic and additional) is calculated in calendar days and is not confined by a maximum limit. This means that a company does not have the right to offer vacation of less than 28 calendar days; however, it may offer an even longer duration of vacation (for example, 30, 45, 60 calendar days or more). Any employer can guarantee additional vacation with a localized act (for example, with conditions of a collective agreement) and insert this condition into the labor agreement.
When does the right to paid vacation arise?
Basic and additional vacation is calculated based on an analysis of the work year, and not the calendar year. The work year begins on the employee’s first day in the organization in question. The employee receives the right to vacation for the first year of work after six months of continuous work in the organization. If both sides agree, vacation may be offered before six months of work are completed; for example, the employee may ask their manager for additional vacation at their own expense for recuperation. This condition can be discussed during the hiring process.
However, there are some categories of employees who have the right to vacation before completing six months of work: pregnant women, underage employees, those who work two jobs (who should be offered vacation during their vacation period at their main place of employment), and employees who have adopted a child under three months old.
When can vacation be taken?
A vacation schedule is established at least two weeks before the start of the calendar year. It is approved by management’s order, taking into account the opinion of the labor union. This schedule has binding authority for both employees as well as for employers (Article 123 of the Labor Code) and should be signed by both parties. The employee should be notified in writing by the employer about the start time of their vacation no later than two weeks prior to it.
If there is an agreement between the employee and employer, vacation may be divided into parts, but only if one of the parts is at least 14 calendar days (Article 125 of the Tax Code). In practice, many foreign companies use an internal act – a so-called employee handbook – which outlines the internal policies and procedures of the company. This document describes in detail all the procedures within the company, how to arrange vacation, business travel and other questions.
As a counterpart to this guide, Article 41 of Russia’s Tax Code outlines a collective agreement which may include the obligations of employees and the employer on issues of working hours and vacation time, including questions on the duration and offering of vacations. When times for rest and vacation are regulated in a collective agreement, a list can be created of employees who are employed during the reporting period (accountants, auditors) and a note can be made indicating that the employee cannot go on vacation during this time of year, and which establishes additional vacation as well as a list of employees who have preferential rights to take vacation at a time convenient for them (single parents, spouses of compulsory-duty servicemen, etc.).
Employees should read, understand and accept this document in writing. If a need arises to change the labor agreement with an employee as a consequence of organizational or technological changes to the working conditions, the employer must act in accordance with Article 74 of the Labor Code. The employer must notify the employee in writing of such changes no later than two months prior to the date that they will go into effect. If the employer is an individual, Article 306 of the Labor Code stipulates that they must notify the employee at least two weeks (14 days) prior, and if the employer is a religious organization, then it must give notification at least seven calendar days prior (Article 344 of the Labor Code).
Paying compensation for vacation
The law limits the ability to exchange vacation for monetary compensation. Only the portion of the vacation which exceeds 28 calendar days may be exchanged for monetary compensation.
Consequently, only employees that have extended basic or additional vacation can exercise this right.
Compensation is paid out for unused vacation in the case of dismissal. Article 127 of the Labor Code stipulates that an employee may be offered vacation with dismissal to immediately follow only under written declaration from the employee.
A vacation extension may be issued in case of an employee’s temporary disability for the number of days of the illness recorded in the temporary disability certificate. However, the employee must inform the employer about their illness as soon as possible and in the proper manner. Point 18 of the “Regulations on Regular and Additional Vacation” requires the employer to un-conditionally extend an employee’s annual paid vacation in the event of their pregnancy or disability. Legal practice on this matter shows that, without notification or a temporary disability certificate, the employer may count the missed days as truancy and dismiss the employee.
Transferring vacation to the next working year is allowed in exceptional circumstances when offering vacation in the current year may negatively affect the organization’s work flow, but only with the employee’s consent. However, vacation should be used within 12 months in the new working year. The law prohibits not offering vacation for two years in a row.
Unpaid vacation (at one’s own accord) is offered to an employee when they submit a written application for it. The length of the vacation is determined by an agreement between parties. Family emergencies and other legitimate reasons are the justification for offering such vacation. The Labor Code lists the situations when an employer must offer unpaid vacation:
World War II veterans – up to 35 calendar days;
Working pensioners, up 14 calendar days per year, according to age;
Parents and wives of military personnel, those who died in the line of duty or as a result of in-juries received when performing their duties, up to 14 calendar days per year;
Working disabled – up to 60 calendar days per year;
Employees in the event of the birth of a child, a marriage, or the death of close relatives – up to five calendar days.
Vacation pay is issued based on employees’ average salary. Average salary is calculated based on the actual pay the employee accrues, plus all bonuses and incentive pay, as well as time actual-ly worked for the 12 calendar months preceding the period for which the employee retains their average salary. The average daily salary for vacation pay and compensation for unused vacation is calculated for the previous 12 calendar months (Point 4 of Resolution #922, approved by Government Order on 12.24.2007).
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