22.05.2022
Chicago 11, Melborne City, USA
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Russia in idle time: what to do if the employer forces you to go on vacation or quit?

Elvira Nabiullina talks about perestroika – so far about structural, but associations with Gorbachev’s times still involuntarily come to mind. One of the signs of change is the turbulence in the labor market, where thousands of workers are being “released”. The closed skies, the exit of foreign companies, the disruption of supply chains give rise to dozens of questions to which there are no convincing answers yet.

I propose to go down from the global level to the local level to talk about the rights of workers. Employers, seeking to save capital, will definitely try to do this at the expense of employees. How long can you be idle? Is it legal to send on vacation at your own expense? The answers to these and other questions are in the article.

The content of the article

Simple and vacation at your own expense: what’s the difference?

During a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation on May 4, 2022, A. Kotyakov, Minister of Labor and Social Protection, announced employment statistics. Officially registered as unemployed in Russia – 675 thousand people, in idle time – 98 thousand, in part-time employment – 110 thousand workers.

However, the minister did not mention figures from the recent past. At the end of 2020, there were 4.4 million unemployed in Russia, as reported by Rosstat. The unemployment rate at that time reached almost 6% of the working population. This is still relatively small (if we compare the same figure in other countries). But not 675 thousand people either.

Some of the rosy statistics may be due to hidden unemployment. Employer requires the employee to write an application for leave on leave at his own expense (without saving wages – article 128 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation). The salary remains with the employer, contributions to extra-budgetary funds are not deducted. But the employee continues to be on the staff, which pleases Rostrud.

Note! According to Article 72.2 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, downtime is a temporary suspension of work for economic, technological, technical or organizational reasons

Like leave without pay, forced downtime is issued by order. If the employer could not provide orders (work), it is considered that only he is to blame. According to Article 157 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, payment is made in the amount of two-thirds of the average salary. Only full months are taken into account (i.e. the employee was not on sick leave, on vacation, etc.).

Important! The duration of downtime is not limited by law.

What should an employee do during downtime?

  1. Be at work;
  2. Follow the instructions of the employer that do not contradict the job description and the requirements of the law;
  3. Do not violate safety regulations;
  4. Refrain from drinking alcohol and psychoactive substances.

Thus, the same rules apply for the period of downtime as in everyday working life. This is what distinguishes it from unpaid leave, when an employee can go about their business or earn extra money.

The rights of the employee at the initiative of the employer, including in the event of liquidation of the enterprise

Another problem is extended vacation at own expense. The employer waits for the weather by the sea and does not reduce staff, does not liquidate the organization. The employee does not receive a salary and seniority, cannot look for a new vacancy. This situation is quite complicated, especially if the employer does not want to make concessions.

If an employee wants to work, and the management cannot provide him with orders (case), either a simple one must be issued, or the number of personnel must be reduced, or the organization itself must be liquidated. The employer notifies the employer of the forthcoming release in writing no later than 2 months before the date of dismissal.

Note! An employee may not wait 2 months, but in this case he is entitled to an average monthly salary in proportion to this time. Let’s say I.’s salary is 100 thousand rubles. per month, on 06/01/2022 he is notified of his dismissal in connection with the liquidation of the organization on 08/01/2022. He can either go to work until 08/01/2022, receiving a salary, or immediately pick up his 200 thousand rubles, sign an order and leave forever.

Can they force you to quit or go on vacation without pay?

When a company is liquidated, there is a temptation for a business not to pay any compensation to its employees. To do this, they can either demand to write a statement “at their own expense”, or quit by agreement of the parties. Both the first and the second are illegal, the employee has the right to appeal the actions of the employer to the Ministry of Labor of Russia.

Important! The employer does not have the right to require the employee to write an application for going on vacation at his own expense or for dismissal

But there is an important nuance. Fundamentally unwilling to dismiss an employee on their own initiative, small (and sometimes medium-sized) businesses may dissolve at some point. The paid rent will end, the personnel officer and accountant will disappear, the director will flee to Armenia or Turkey.

Then the employee has problems in order to return the work book, to receive the final payment. You will have to go to court, waste time on terminating the contract forcibly. If things are obviously going to such a disappointing ending, it is better to immediately part with a negligent employer.

Summary. You can’t force someone to quit (go on vacation at their own expense), but it makes sense to agree

So, statistics have not yet recorded massive labor problems in Russia. Unemployment is low, and in simple and part-time employment – less than 210 thousand workers. But, probably, as the “structural adjustment” progresses, more and more people will face the requirement of the employer to either quit of their own free will or go on vacation at their own expense.

Both the first and second instructions are illegal. Strong companies can be required to either issue a simple one, or be fired at the initiative of the employer, paying 2 average monthly earnings. And it is better to leave weak organizations in a good way, until they themselves disappeared along with the work book and other documents.

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