Russia’s Constitutional Court has explained, which payments are not included in the minimum wage

30 May 2019
Polina Vodogreeva

In its Ruling of April 20191 the Constitutional Court has explained that payments for work under deviant conditions cannot be included in the minimum wage amount. In particular, it concerns payments for the following work:

  • overtime;
  • night work;
  • work in weekends and public holidays.

Substantiating its findings, the Constitutional Court has cited the following:

  1. Under the Russian Constitution2 work and health of people are protected in the Russian Federation, everyone has the right of remuneration for labor on a non-discriminatory basis and not below the minimum wage amount established by the federal law.
  2. Under the Russian Labor code3 an employee’s remuneration may consist of a salary (established given the employee’s working conditions and peculiarities of working activities) and payments for work performance in deviant conditions, which inter alia include performing overtime work, night work, work in weekends and public holidays, i.e. work performed at rest time.
  3. Work under deviant conditions (overtime, work at night, work on weekends and public holidays) is paid at higher rates4. Involvement in work under deviant conditions is made in compliance with a specially established procedure and, thus, generally cannot be made on a regular basis.

Consequently, the Constitutional Court has concluded that each employee must be equally provided with a salary in amount not lower than the minimum wage established by the federal law, and increased payment in case of work performance under deviant conditions (including overtime work, work at night, on weekends and public holidays).

Otherwise, monthly salary of employees working under deviant conditions would not be different from that of employees working under usual conditions. Thus, employees performing overtime work, night work, work in weekend or public holiday (under deviant conditions) would find themselves in the same position as those who performed similar work within the established working day (shift), in the daytime, on a weekday.

This would result in a disproportionate restriction of labor rights of employees engaged in work under deviant conditions and would be in conflict with the general legal principles of legal equality and justice arising from the Russian Constitution, as well as the guarantee of remuneration for labor free of any discrimination.

It should be pointed out that in 2017 the Constitutional Court explained5 that rates of regional coefficients and allowances accrued in connection with work performance in areas with special weather conditions (including regions of the Far North and equated localities) are not included in the minimum wage amount as well.

At this moment amount of minimum wage in the Russian Federation is 11280 rubles per month6, in Moscow — 18781 rubles per month7.

1 Russia’s Constitutional Court ruling of 11.04.2019 No. 17-P
2Art. 7; para. 3 art. 37 of the Russian Constitution
3Para. 1 art. 129 of the Labor code
4Art. 149; art. 152-154 of the Labor code
5Russia’s Constitutional Court ruling of 07.12.2017 No. 38-P
6Art. 1 of the Federal law of 25.12.2018 No. 481-FZ
7"Moscow trilateral agreement for 2016-2018 concluded between the Government of Moscow, Moscow trade union associations and Moscow employers’ associations" of 15.12.2015, Government Decree of the City of Moscow of 19.09.2018 No. 1114-PP