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The Labor Code of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the "Labor Code of the Russian Federation") provides for the possibility of introducing downtime – temporary suspension of work for economic, technological, technical or organizational reasons. At the same time, employers are advised to comply with certain requirements so that the introduced downtime is not subsequently challenged by employees.

1. It is necessary to issue an order (order) and specify the following information in it:
the circle of persons covered by the order (order): organization, branch, department;
  • reasons for introducing downtime;
  • downtime start and end time;
  • amount of downtime payment;
  • an order on the mandatory presence of employees at their workplaces or on their release from the obligation to be present at their workplaces during the idle period.

It should be borne in mind that the legislation does not contain the exact reasons for downtime, but they must be documented. In the event of a dispute, the obligation to prove their existence rests with the employer.

The downtime is temporary, so you need to specify the exact dates. This period can be extended.

It should also be borne in mind that the amount of downtime payment depends on the reasons that caused the need for its introduction. Downtime for reasons beyond the control of the employer and the employee is paid in the amount of at least two-thirds of the tariff rate, salary (official salary), calculated in proportion to the downtime. Downtime due to the fault of the employer is paid in the amount of at least two-thirds of the average salary of an employee (Article 157 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation). The size of the average earnings of an employee and his official salary may differ significantly, therefore, the decision on the grounds of downtime should be taken carefully, taking into account the company's availability of documents that can confirm the relevant circumstances.

2. It is necessary to familiarize employees with the order (order) under the signature.

3. If idle time is imposed on all employees and production is suspended, the employer is obliged to notify the employment service authorities in writing within three working days from the date of the order (order). To do this, it is necessary to fill out a special form approved by the Order of the Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation No. 24 dated 26.01.2022, which specifies data on the employer, the reasons and timing of the suspension of production, the average number of employees at the time of the suspension of production and other data. If the measures are introduced in a branch, representative office or other structural subdivision, the information is submitted to the employment service at their location.

Employers often do not take these features into account, therefore, in case of a dispute, the courts satisfy the demands of employees to declare illegal an order to declare downtime and collect wage arrears.
 
We will be happy to provide relevant recommendations that will allow you to choose a way to optimize personnel costs in the current economic situation.