The President of the Russian Federation signed a Federal Law that allows to formalize labour relationships between an employer and their employee in electronic form. This experiment is also being implemented as part of the Digital economy program and in relation to those human resources documents for which paper form is mandatory from the perspective of the legislation, and which should be signed by the employee personally.
The terms for the realization of the experiment is until March 31, 2021, inclusively. The participants of the experiment are employers and their employees who will be selected by the authorities of the Ministry of Labour and will want to participate on a voluntary basis. In this case, the employee should express their consent to participate to the employer by drawing up a written application.
If the employer wants to take part in this experiment, they need to:
1. declare the wish to participate in the experiment;
2. determine the date of commencement of the experiment;
3. approve the list of electronic human resources documents for which the experiment will be conducted;
4. notify the employee of the beginning of the experiment 1 month in advance, and inform them of the right to refuse to participate in the experiment by drawing up a written application;
5. make a list of employees who have given their consent to participate in the experiment;
6. adopt new internal regulatory documents (IRD) or change existing ones, including about the use of electronic signature, in connection with the realization of the experiment;
7. familiarize employees with these IRD against signature;
8. make the adopted changes to the labour contracts;
9. provide the employee with free access to electronic documents;
10. ensure the protection of electronic documents from unauthorized access.
An employee’s refusal to participate in the experiment cannot be the reason for their dismissal. Also, for the same reason, the employer does not have the right to refuse a prospective candidate in employment.
Parties of the labour relationships may switch to electronic document flow (EDF) either with the use of e-mail or using the “Employment in Russia” system. For those companies and employees who do not participate in the experiment, the general rules of employment legislation will apply.
Documents will be signed with the use of an electronic signature. For employers, such a signature should be strictly enhanced qualified one. Employees may use either an enhanced qualified one or unqualified electronic signature. And if they use the “Employment in Russia” system, the signature may be a simple electronic one, the key of which is obtained in accordance with the rules for using a simple electronic signature when applying for central and local government services in electronic form.
It should be noted that the following persons cannot take part in the experiment:
– remote employees;
– employees who perform their work duties under the temporary staffing contract.
Also, the experiment is not realized with respect to employment books, which are formed in accordance with the employment legislation in electronic form of employment history of employees.
Document: Federal Law No. 122-FZ dated 24/4/2020.