Teleworking and labor conditions in Russia

Autor:Daria Chernyaeva
Cargo:Associate professor, National Research University, Higher School of Economics
IUSLabor 2/2017
Daria Chernyaeva
Associate professor, National Research University, Higher School of Economics
The concept of telework itself is new to the Russian legal system, but the ideas of remote
work and homeworking both have long history in Russia. A provision on homeworking
was first introduced to the Code of Laws on Labour in 1922 (then this category of workers
was called “kvartirniki” “apartmenters”, i.e. people working in their apartments) and
remain in all codes including the current one (Chapter 49). The Code of 1922 ordered the
Council of People’s Commissars to enact a special decree on people working at home
which was done in 1922 and then in 1928. It was further developed in the Code of 1971
and then in the Regulation on Working Conditions of Home Workers which State
Committee on Labour (Goskomtrud) enacted in 1981 and which remained in force till the
end of 2016 when the Ministry of Labour recognized many old regulations as inoperative
or stale.
There is no regular and/or official statistical data on teleworkers. There are only scattered
sociological studies that embrace 1-2 years and small groups of respondents (100-200)
living in particular regions of the Russian Federation, and the labour conditions either
were not the main focus of the study or were not analyzed at all. These studies can hardly
be regarded as representative for the entire situation in the country in this sense.
1. Is there any regulation on teleworking in your legal system?
Yes, in 2013 a special Chapter 49.1 named “On distinctive features of remote work of
employees” of the Code was introduced and become operative from April 19th, 2014. This
Chapter was meant to regulate all spatially dispersed employment relations.
Russia still has not ratified the ILO Convention No. 177 (Home Work Convention). In
April 2014 Ministry of Labour held a conference where two expert reports were presented
(one prepared in late 2013 and one on February 2014) that regarded the Convention
ratification as premature because “there were no mechanisms created to efficiently
monitor and control employees working remotely”. All experts agreed that the absence of
such mechanisms would lead to the violation of both the Convention and the
Recommendation No. 184. At the same time the experts suggested that the question of
the Convention ratification could be reconsidered after the legislative amendments

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