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How to document work during the quarantine week

How to document work during the quarantine week

PUBLICATIONS \ 30.03.2020

As of today, many Russian companies have switched to remote working. Given that the concept of “remote working mode” does not exist in the Labour Code of the Russian Federation, employers have a considerable number of questions about how to properly document the week from March 30 to April 3. This question has been answered by the Head of our Audit and Strategic Projects Department Valentina Alexandrova in an article for Klerk.ru

The New Presidential Decree on the introduction of non-working days in the Russian Federation is aimed at significantly reducing the number of people in offices, within companies and in public places in order to control the sanitary and epidemiological situation.

One of the most popular matters of concern over the past two days has been the definition of “continuously operating organizations”, because from a legal viewpoint, each company has the opportunity to independently define the continuous nature of its work under certain conditions. However, on Friday, the Ministry of Labour issued recommendations in order to establish a uniform approach to the working mode next week.

Therefore, only companies that supply services to the population, are not able to stop the production process for a single day without serious disruption of cycles, or perform urgent work in an emergency situation are considered to be continuously operating.

Examples would be energy-supplying organizations, food producers, agricultural organizations, housing and utilities management companies, hotel businesses, organizations that perform emergency repairs, oil producers and metallurgical plants, etc.

At the same time, employees’ salaries still need to be paid. In the context of the crisis in the country and the introduction of legal restrictions owing to the coronavirus epidemic, this requirement will lead to the death of a large number of businesses.

Therefore, it is not surprising that most companies whose employees can work remotely will continue their ordinary operations. The Kremlin allowed this type of work during the quarantine week.

In this case, we recommend the following:

  • Draw up an order for the introduction of remote working mode in the company and familiarize employees with such order (familiarization may be carried out by e-mail, while to minimize risks, our specialists recommend that you have an internal regulatory document regarding electronic document flow available in the company);
  • Obtain consent from employees to work on non-working days (similar to consent to work at the weekend). This will also help to minimize your risks;
  • The Federal Labour and Employment Service (referred to in Russian as Rostrud) explained that since the days from March 30 to April 3 will be non-working (and not weekends or non-working holidays), the payment for labour should be made at the single rate. At the same time, the issue of working hours in March and April remains open until official explanations are received. The company should make a managerial decision on this issue (calculate it as before, or at a reduced rate), but should in any case be ready to correct documents and recalculate salary after receiving additional explanations. As a result, employees who receive a salary and have worked full standard working time should not lose any salary.

Valentina Alexandrova

Head of Audit Department