New requirements: the percentage of employees which should be vaccinated against COVID-19 is increased to 80% for certain sectors.
According to the resolution by the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Moscow dated 19 October 2021 No. 3 (the Resolution), employers operating in Moscow in the following industry sectors shall arrange vaccination against COVID-19 for the workers engaged in:
- beauty salons, cosmetic or massage parlors, spa salons, tanning salons, baths, saunas, fitness centers, fitness clubs, swimming pools;
- consumer services, including laundries, dry cleaners and other similar services;
- food services;
- client services at financial organisations, organisations providing postal services;
- multifunctional centers providing the state and municipal services;
- public transport, taxi;
- education, health care, social security services;
- housing and utility services;
- cultural and educational events (including museums, exhibition halls, libraries, lectures, trainings), with the exception of official events organised by state authorities;
- leisure, entertainment activities and performances (including games and master classes);
- children's playrooms, children's entertainment centers, children's day camps, other places or similar events for minors hosted in buildings and other premises or facilities, including recreational parks, shopping and entertainment centers;
- theatres, cinemas, concert halls;
- public sport events;
- delivery of goods and food, including courier delivery.
According to the Resolution, employers operating in the areas specified above are required to:
- organise vaccination by 1 December 2021 with the first component or single-component vaccine, and by 1 January 2022 organise the provision of the second component of the vaccine that has passed state registration in the Russian Federation, for at least 80% of the total number of employees (with the exception of those who are medically exempt from vaccination);
- increase awareness among employees with regard to prevention of COVID-19 and, specifically, vaccination.
As for the requirements to provide vaccination confirmation reports, the Mayor of Moscow did not provide any additional clarification. However, taking into account paragraph 14 of the Mayor’s decree (dated 16 June 2021, No. 32-UM, edited 8 July 2021 - hereinafter, the Decree) stating the requirement to submit the reports remains in force, we believe that to mitigate potential risks employers should submit the vaccination reports according to the previously established procedure.
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Decree does not formally require the employer to achieve the specified vaccination rate of at least 80%. That is, employers are required to undertake:
- organisational measures to ensure workers have an opportunity to vaccinate;
- awareness-raising activities to encourage employees to vaccinate. However, considering the unpleasant epidemiological situation we cannot rule out negative consequences associated with the failure to reach the proposed vaccination target.
Thus, we believe that organisational measures which provide employees an opportunity to vaccinate can come in the form of the following:
- vaccination paid leaves (a special schedule can be developed for this purpose);
- organisation of the employees groups and their transportation to vaccination points;
- engagement with medical organisations to organise on-site vaccination points on employer’s premises, etc.
With regard to awareness-raising, these activities can include sending corporate e-mails, distribution of newsletters, leaflets, posters, and their publication on corporate portals, along with the organisation of employee trainings, briefings, etc.
In case of a failure to comply with the Resolution requirements, legislation provides an administrative penalty. In relation to this situation, in our opinion, article 6.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation or article 20.6.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation can be applied. In accordance with part 2 of article 6.3, a refusal to take the prescribed measures may result in a fine for the responsible official in the amount of 50 000 to 150 000 rubles, and in case of a company the amount will increase to 200 000 to 500 000 rubles with an option to suspend all company activities for up to 90 days. Similarly, in accordance with part 1 of article 20.6.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, a failure to take the prescribed measures may result in a fine for the responsible official in the amount of 10 000 to 50 000 rubles, and for the company in the amount of 100 000 to 300 000 rubles.
In connection with the measures prescribed by the Decree and the Resolution, it is recommended:
- to issue an order or internal regulation with a list of organisational measures for vaccination and activities for awareness-raising among employees, as well as to appoint a person responsible for carrying out these measures;
- to officially bring to the attention of employees the aforementioned measures and introduce signature confirmation;
- to arrange for receiving written refusals from vaccination if someone of the employees does not want to be vaccinated (in order to simplify the procedure, it is recommended to prepare a standard refusal form in advance);
- to obtain written consent from employees for the processing and transfer of personal data provided by the report form in accordance with Appendix 2 of the Decree;
- to submit the required information through the personal account on the Mayor and the Government of Moscow website using the prescribed terms.
Mazars' legal practice team, as always, is ready to assist in preparation of the necessary documents, as well as advise on emerging issues regarding the implementation of the requirements of the Resolution and the Decree.
Feel free to ask us a question