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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.


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