It became increasingly clear over 2020 that the existing legislation on remote working was not fully up to the challenges faced by the Russian economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the need of some businesses to place very large numbers of employees onto compulsory remote working arrangements at short notice.
On 8 December, therefore, Russia introduced Federal Law No.407-FZ amending the Russian Labour Code in relation to remote working. Importantly, it gives employers the ability to place employees on remote working arrangements for a temporary basis, without their agreement, in exceptional circumstances. The new rules will come into force on 1 January 2021. It is not yet clear whether the new rules will apply to remote working arrangements already in force as at that date, but the wise employer will assume that they will and that existing remote workers will have to be treated in the same way.