Russia Country Profile – Working Practices

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Working hours

Under Russian Labour Law, employees cannot work more than 40 hours per week. Most employees work 9-5 Monday to Friday. People under 16 can work no more than 16 hours a week (five hours for disabled workers). There are also restricted hours for those working at night. Overtime is not permitted for those under 18 or for pregnant women. For more details, visit the website.


Holiday entitlement in Russia is on a par with most European countries with workers granted 28 calendar days (including weekends) of annual leave a year. This equates to around 20 working days of paid leave. Under Russian Labour law, women are entitled to 140 days fully paid maternity leave (70 before birth and 70 after). However, workers can return to their jobs during maternity leave, which can be extended to a maximum of three years.

Public holidays

There are 12 paid public holidays in Russia. Each major city also has events to mark their official founding. City day in Moscow is 3rd September (2016, dates change each year) and 27th May in St Petersburg.

Public holiday dates


New Year’s Day: 1st January

Bank Holidays: 2th to 8th January

Orthodox Christmas Day: 7th January

Red Army Day: 23rd February

Women’s Day: 8th March

Labour Day: 1st May

Victory Day: 9th May

National Day: 12th June

Day of Unity: November 4th

City Day: Varies between cities.

Visas and eligibility to work

Under Russian law there are certain nationalities which qualify for visa waivers for trips usually up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Most European countries fall outside of this remit so most EU, USA and Australian nationals will require a visa which must be applied for before travelling to Russia. It can take several weeks to process visas, especially during busy periods, so make sure you apply for one well in advance of your trip. There are nine types of visa to apply for in Russia. Before you travel it is advisable to contact the Russian Embassy in your home country to check which visa is most appropriate for you.


In Russia the tax years runs from 1st January to 31st December. Tax returns are generally due on the 30th April of the year following the tax year. Foreign nationals may have to file a departure tax return a month before they leave Russia and must pay tax if they are residing and employed in the country for 183 days or more. The tax rate is set at 13% on the income of most workers. For foreign nationals in Russia for less than 183 days this jumps to 30%. Russian employers are required to deduct tax and national insurance from workers’ salaries each month and companies are subject to Federal and Regional taxes. Value Added Tax (VAT) in Russia is set at 18% which is reduced to 10% for children’s food, clothing and medicines.


Since 2002, pensions in Russia have undergone huge reform to create a multi-pillar system. Public pensions are paid for by workers contributing 26% of pay in social security tax. Basic pensions are linked to inflation and are broadly available to men aged 60 and women aged 55. Workers can also save privately through non-state pensions. Foreign workers are usually exempt from making pension contributions if they are on a six-month contract or are highly skilled.


Russia is considered to have a limited welfare state and benefits system compared with many Western democracies. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the country has moved away from centralised welfare. Healthcare, however, is free, but workers are required to pay national insurance contributions to cover the state-run national health system. The maximum unemployment benefit is around 4,900 RUB (£44) a week which is just below the average level of pay in many sectors.


Russia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2012. Since that time, the rights of disabled people and workers have improved, albeit gradually, across most industries in Russia. Improved access to buildings and public transport are noticeable and major events such as the Paralympic Games in 2012 have brought the issue into the public consciousness. There is still a long way to go to bring the county into line with much of Western Europe but there does seem to be a growing commitment to protecting the rights of disabled people in Russia.

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