16 Dec 2019

Development of digital technologies has affected all areas of human activity, and labour relations are no exception.

By Dmity Churin and Maria Aksenova, Capital Legal Services

There are several legislative initiatives in Russia, demonstrating an increasing involvement of technologies in this area, and some of these have already passed the first reading in the Russian State Duma.

The Russian Government suggests replacing the work record book, which is a principal labour document containing information about an employee’s employment, with electronic records in a database maintained by the Russian Pension Fund. Starting from 2020, companies will be obliged to submit monthly electronic employment records on each employee to the Pension Fund. Failure to do so will result in an administrative fine of up to approximately €700.

At present, employers must maintain hard copies of work record books for the whole period of their workers’ employment. Employers will be relieved of the obligation to issue and maintain hard copies, provided there is an agreement to this effect made with employees. Experts estimate that companies could save approximately €7 million (in total) if work record books are abolished for only 5 percent of employees.

Apart from digital labour records, Russian lawmakers are currently considering the concept of the electronic exchange of legally binding messages between companies and their employees. Where employers intend to send documents to an employee electronically, it is recommended that this is expressly stated in the employment contract.


Amendments to the relevant bills, should be adopted by the end of 2019. Once this is done, the amendments will considerably simplify the interaction between employers and employees, provided employers take preparatory measures and:

  • amend local regulations, employment agreement templates and collective agreements;
  • ensure technical infrastructure for submitting accounting records to the Pension Fund;
  • notify employees of the legislative changes.

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