Proving the fact of employment relationships via Telegram
Legal Digest \ 19.08.2019

An employee has managed to prove the fact of employment relationships by using correspondence with an employer via the Telegram messenger service.

A man was carrying out job duties without any official document being formalized, but rather based on an oral agreement with company’s management. He was not paid any salary, however. After that, he ceased his work and applied to court seeking to have:

·         the fact established of an employment relationship with the employer;

·         an employment agreement concluded with the employer starting from the date of actual employment;

·         a record be made in the work record book regarding his employment and resignation;

·         salary recovered for the period of forced absence and compensation for unused vacation.

Courts of first instance dismissed the claims. However, in its Ruling dated 3 April 2019 in case No. 33-7054/2019 the City Court noted that an employment relationship arises based on actual admittance to work when an employer knew or so instructed. This is an additional guarantee for resolving any uncertainties regarding the legal status of employees when no employment agreement has been concluded.

Therefore, one should not only proceed from the available formalized documents (an employment agreement, staffing table, etc.), but also establish the signs of employment relationship. The employer failed to prove that there was no such relationship, while the employee submitted correspondence with the employer via Telegram concerning work matters as proof of an employment relationship. The claims were sustained on this matter.

The claims for the payment of the whole amount of salary to the employee were dismissed, for the latter failed to present due evidence of salary being established in that amount. Therefore, the employee was paid the amount of subsistence level. Neither were any records were made in his work record book.

Please be reminded that under article 15 of the Russian Labour Code employment relationships can arise based on a written employment agreement signed between the employee and the employer. Practice shows, however, that the absence of such a document does not prevent a relationship from being recognized as an employment relationship.

Please contact Acsour’s experts as to how employment legislation should be applied and HR records should be drawn up.