The Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 242 dated 23 April 2021 (hereinafter, the 'Decree') establishes non-working days from 4 May 2021 to 7 May 2021 with full salary payment to the employees. In accordance with the Decree, companies must determine the number of employees who will ensure the companies’ operation during the period from 1 May 2021 to 10 May 2021.
What is a 'non-working day'?
Firstly, it is important to note that the labor legislation does not disclose the term 'non-working day'. Currently, the Labor Code of the Russian Federation operates only with the terms 'day-off' and 'non-working holidays'. At the same time, the Decree does not contain any explanations regarding whether the regime of days-off/ non-working holidays shall apply to the declared non-working days from 4 May 2021 to 7 May 2021.
In March 2020, a similar decree of the President established the regime of non-working days with full salary payment for employees. In accordance with the explanations of the Ministry of Labor (Mintrud), the non-working days announced in March 2020 did not relate to the days-off/ non-working holidays. Further to its latest comments non-working days from 4 May 2021 to 7 May 2021 should not also be considered as days-off/ non-working holidays (see https://mintrud.gov.ru/docs/1869).
To what categories of employees do the non-working days apply?
As follows from the Decree, non-working days are established for all employees, except for those selected by the employer to ensure functioning of the company during this period. At the same time, the Decree does not provide any explanation of the meaning of "ensuring functioning of the company". In our opinion, this issue remains at the discretion of the company. We assume that the wording used in the Decree suggests that the employer should determine the list of the employees who will perform this function. In order to comply with the requirements of the Decree, the employer must issue an order with a list of employees who will work during non-working days (including those who work remotely).
What amount of salary should be paid during the period of non-working days?
In accordance with the explanations of the Ministry of Labor, employees who are subject to the non-working days regime should receive full salary. Those who will ensure the companies’ operation during this period, should be paid at the basic, not increased, wage rate.
Regarding the payment days, the Ministry of Labor explains that if the date coincides with non-working days, it is recommended to pay salary beforehand.
See the explanation of the Ministry of Labor: https://mintrud.gov.ru/docs/1869
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