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In brief

On 22 November 2021, significant changes to the Russian Labor Code came into force1 regarding the use of electronic documents in labor relations.

Now, employers have the right to use an electronic workflow in relation with employees without duplicating personnel documents on paper.

With regard to distant employees (for whom an electronic workflow was introduced on 1 January 2021), employers can either continue to use the previously introduced workflow procedure (including the exchange of documents by email) or apply the rules established by the new law.

Key changes in brief

  • It will be possible to conclude an employment agreement, an agreement on monetary liability and an apprenticeship agreement, as well as draw up other personnel documents in electronic form.
  • Employees will be able to submit documents in electronic form, presented upon admission to work (Article 65 of the Russian Labor Code).
  • It will be possible to familiarize employees with the employer’s local policies in electronic form.
  • When signing documents, it will be necessary to use electronic signatures, the type of which depends on the signing document.
  • The employer will bear the costs of obtaining an employee’s electronic signature (in the case of its absence) and its use.
  • An electronic workflow is introduced by a local policy of the employer, adopted taking into account the opinion of the primary trade union organization.
  • It is necessary to obtain the written consent of an employee for the introduction of an electronic workflow. Consent is not required if the employee has no work experience and is hired after 31 December 2021.
  • An electronic workflow can be carried out through the employer’s information system or through the Work in Russia platform.
  • The introduced changes do not apply to the following:
    • Labor books and information on employment history generated in electronic form
    • Acts of job-related accidents
    • Orders on employment termination
    • Documents confirming the employee was duly instructed on labor safety, including those personally signed by the employee;
  • Paper versions of documents or their certified hard copies must be provided to the employee free of charge within three working days after the application is sent.

We recommend that those of our clients that plan to switch to an electronic workflow prepare a local policy in accordance with the norms of the newly adopted law.

Click here to access the Russian version.

1 Federal Law N 377-FZ of 22 November 2021.


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.


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."


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.


Georgy Mzhavanadze is an associate in the Moscow office of Baker McKenzie. He joined the Employment practice group as a student in 2011 and was promoted to the position of trainee lawyer in 2013 and then to the position of associate in 2014.


Elena Pitirimova is an associate in the Moscow office of Baker McKenzie. She focuses on employment and migration law issues. Prior to joining the Firm in 2012, she worked in another law firm. Elena has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars on labor and immigration law. Most recently, Elena gave presentations on various aspects of Russian labor legislation, trade union activities, distance work, audits of the State Labor Inspectorate, and law on prohibition of staff leasing.


Alexander Korkin is a senior associate in the St. Petersburg office of Baker McKenzie. He heads its Employment Practice and works in Dispute Resolution. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie in 2017, Alexander worked as head of the Labor and Migration practice group of a major Russian law firm in St. Petersburg. The Legal 500 EMEA (2020) emphasizes that "Alexander Korkin, the head of the labor law group in St. Petersburg, has a unique combination of excellent legal expertise and business ethics."

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