Electronic employment record books initiative of the Russian Ministry of labor

19 November 2018
Polina Vodogreeva

Draft law designed to adopt electronic employment record books has been prepared by the Russian Ministry of labor (“Draft law”). As of the date of this legal update publication the Draft law undergoes public discussions stage1.

Under the Draft law employees’ employment history is maintained in electronic form only starting from January 1, 2021. However, exception to this rule applies where an employee has beforehand applied on keeping its employment record book in a paper form.

After January 1, 2021 the relevant application can be submitted only by an employee, which:

  • enters into an employment agreement for the first time;
  • changes place of employment;
  • has been temporarily absent from work until January 1, 2021.

The Draft law proposes to completely abandon the maintenance of employment record books in a paper form starting from January 1, 2027.

Pursuant to the Draft law employer must transfer to the Russian Pension fund information about its employees’ employment history (position, dismissal and grounds for employment contract termination, etc.) starting from 2020. Employer must provide employee with duly certified employment history upon the employee’s request and upon the employee’s dismissal. When being hired an employee will supply employer with its employment history. Further, the employee will be able to obtain this information not only from the former employer directly, but also through the Russian Pension fund, multifunctional center or unified portal for state and municipal services.

Specifically, the Draft law establishes a transition period until the complete abandonment of employment record books in paper form (from 2020 to 2027), when:

A. Employer must carry out the following activities:

  • prepare, adopt or amend its bylaws (if necessary);
  • amend agreements and collective agreements pursuant to the procedure established by the Russian Labor code (if necessary);
  • ensure its technical readiness for the employment history electronic transfer to the information system;
  • notify its employees regarding changes in labor legislation related to the maintenance of employees’ employment history in electronic form2.

B. Employee starting from January 1, 2020 can file an application to employer requesting to maintain its employment record book in paper form. Otherwise, employer will provide the employee with its employment record book and thus be excused from liability for record book storage starting from January 1, 2020.

The Draft law is focused on optimizing the process of information transfer to the Russian Pension fund, consolidating the employees’ employment history storage. Moreover, transition to an electronic system will reduce HR record management costs, downsize paper workflow.

1 http://regulation.gov.ru/projects/List/AdvancedSearch#departments=4&npa=85344
2Including the employee’s right to have a paper employment record book until 2027 pursuant to the relevant application