In response to the proclamation of non-working days in Russia from 4 to 30 April, many employers subject to the President’s Executive Order* dated 2 April 2020 (the “Executive Order”) have asked if they can provide their employees with “leave” during this period.
In its updated clarifications*, the Russian Ministry of Labour confirmed it is possible to grant leave to employees during the period of non-working days. If an employee opts to go on leave during that time, the employer may allow it. One issue remains unclear. The Ministry of Labour’s clarifications do not specify the type of leave envisaged – paid or unpaid. The Ministry is expected to issue additional explanations on this matter in the coming days.
In our opinion, however, paid leave would be the most appropriate option for employees of companies which are subject to the Executive Order. Granting leave without pay would be contrary to paragraph 1 of the Executive Order under which, during the period of non-working days, the employee’s salary must be paid. It should be noted that to grant leave to employees by their request during the period of non-working days, employers must receive applications from them and then issue orders on granting leave. Employers must also provide payment for this leave at least three days before it commences.
By Valeriy Fedoreev, Christophe Huet, Partners, Ekaterina Elekchyan and Irina Skvortsova, Senior Associates, CMS Russia