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On 25 March 2020, President Putin introduced strict new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.1

As of 30 March until 3 April 2020, most employees in Russia are instructed not to report to work, except those working for:

  • permanently operating organizations (organizations whose work cannot be suspended for production and technical reasons, for example metallurgical plants, or those that provide a continuously needed service (i.e., gas/petrol stations)
  • medical institutions and pharmacies
  • suppliers of foods and essential goods
  • organizations performing urgent work in emergencies and other situations where lives or normal living conditions are at risk
  • organizations performing emergency repair and loading/unloading work

Employees not at work during this period are to receive their regular salary.

Consequences of violation

Companies that fail to comply with the mandatory rules of sanitary and epidemiological safety rules may face a fine of up to 30,000 rubles (approx. USD 390). For repeated or gross violations, the authorities may suspend the business activities of a company for up to 90 days.2

If the spread of COVID-19 increases, the authorities may resort to criminal prosecution. Under Article 236 of the Russian Criminal Code, violations of sanitary-epidemiological rules that result in mass diseases through negligence are punishable by supervised restriction of freedom for up to one year, and if such negligence results in human death, by a prison term of up to five years.

A draft bill on toughening the punishments for violation of sanitary-epidemiological rules has been submitted to the Russian State Duma.


1Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 25 March 2020 No. 206 “On the announcement of non-working days in the Russian Federation”.

2Articles 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation, Law No. 195-FZ of 30 December 2001.

Author

Igor Makarov is a partner in Baker Mckenzie's Moscow office. Igor Makarov practices in the areas of corporate/M&A, as well as labor and migration law. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Mr. Makarov worked as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and headed St. Petersburg and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers CIS Law Offices BV. He also worked as an attorney at Hedman Law Offices, where he headed its St. Petersburg office until 1994. He joined Baker McKenzie as an associate in its St. Petersburg office. Mr. Makarov is currently a partner in the Firm’s Moscow office.

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Elena Kukushkina is a counsel and coordinator in Baker Mckenzie's Moscow office. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, she worked at another leading global law firm. Ms. Kukushkina has written articles as well as spoken in conferences and seminars about labor and immigration law. She is recommended by Chambers Europe and Legal 500 EMEA for her employment work. Sources describe Ms. Kukushkina as “fast, practical and business-oriented” as well as "result- driven."

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Evgeny Reyzman is a counsel in Baker Mckenzie's Moscow office. Evgeny Reyzman has extensive experience practicing in Russian labor law and employment litigation matters, as well as in the areas of commercial litigation, and Russian criminal law and procedure. Top ranked by Chambers Global 2009, clients describe him as a "genuine veteran of the employment scene who knows absolutely everything there is to know." PLC Which Lawyer? also recognized him as leading lawyer in its 2008 and 2009 editions. Chambers Europe 2007 regards him as one of the big three employment lawyers in Moscow. Mr. Reyzman joined Baker McKenzie in 1998 and became a partner in 2001. Prior to joining the Firm, he was a senior legal adviser for a major Russian bank and practiced as an advocate with the Inter-Republican Bar Association and the Moscow City Bar Association. In addition to his practice, Mr. Reyzman actively participates in the activities of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow as a member of its Human Resources Executive Committee.

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Maxim Kalinin serves as managing partner of Baker & McKenzie’s St. Petersburg office and head of the Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate, Real Estate & Construction and Employment practice groups. He was named a European legal expert in Russia by European Legal Experts 2008, and was recognized by Chambers Europe "for his expertise in M&A and real estate work". He is also cited by Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal 2009, The International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers 2008 and the Private Equity Handbook 2007/2008 for his corporate and real estate work