Labor Law

Basics of Russian labor law



For your subsidiary or representative office in Russia we take over the complete management in legal and accounting matters, including establishing and temporary nominal Management for the period of obtaining a work permit for your employees.

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Every employee shall have an employment contract. Employment contracts shall normally have unlimited term. The term of employment may be limited only in special cases (for example, in case of temporary substitution of another employee or for the duration of seasonal works, etc.).

A test period may be established (up to 3 months for regular employees and up to 6 months for the head of the company, its chief accountant and their deputies).

Salary shall be paid in Rubles twice a month. Payment of salary in foreign currency is prohibited. The payroll costs are generally calculated as follows: salary gross (including income tax at the rate of 13% or 30% depending on the tax residence status) + social contributions (approx. 30%). Overtime work shall be paid additionally or compensated with additional vacation.

An annual paid vacation of at least 28 days shall be provided to every employee.

Non-competition agreements are prohibited (a head of the company is however required to receive an approval for simultaneous work in another company).

Foreign employees

Foreign employees are generally allowed to work in Russia only under a work permit. However, some foreign employees do not need a permit (for example, employees holding a residence permission, employees making construction supervision or repairs of equipment imported to Russia, citizens of some former Soviet countries, etc.).

Work permits are of different kinds. The most popular and easy-to-go labor permit is a so called “labor permit for a highly qualified specialist (HQS)” – it is issued for 3 years together with a multi-entry visa, does not entail the need to pass an exam for Russian language, law and history, provides less strict migration registration requirements and a 13% personal income tax rate. The employment contract with an HQS shall provide a salary of at least 250.000 rubles gross (approx. 2 500 euro) pro month.


An employment contract may be terminated anytime by an agreement between an employee and the company. An employee is entitled to terminate its employment anytime with a 2-weeks’ notice (4 weeks for the head of the company). A company may dismiss an employee only on a serious ground (repeated failure to comply with labor duties; absence at work for more than 4 hours; alcoholic or drug intoxication; stealing at work, etc.). A head of the company may be dismissed anytime with a 3-months’ salary compensation or due to a special reason indicated in his/her employment contract.

Please consider the information above as a general overview only. It is highly advisable to consult your lawyers for any details or a particular situation.