Employment law in Belarus

Belarusian labor laws – employment, retirement, salaries and so on.

If you’re planning to do business in Belarus, it’s important to know about all aspects of employment law.

As an initial step, it’s a good idea to find a local lawyer in Belarus who can help you understand the employment regulations and keep you up to date on any changes.

Employment contracts in Belarus

Employment contracts can be drawn up for:

  • an indefinite term
  • a fixed term (not more than 5 years)
  • a fixed term for a specific piece of work
  • for the duration of seasonal work
  • a temporary period to cover the absence of the worker, whose job position remains open

Termination of contracts in Belarus

In Belarus, an employment contract can be terminated in the following circumstances:

  • if both parties agree
  • if the contract’s term expires except when neither of the parties wants the employment relations terminated
  • if initiated by any party – the employer or the employee
  • if the employee agrees to being transferred to another employer or gets transferred to an elective position
  • if the employee disagrees with moving to another location to follow the employer, if the employee disagrees with new labor conditions, a new owner or re-organization of the company
  • in circumstances independent of the will of the parties
  • if the contract is terminated after a probationary period

Dismissal in Belarus

Employment law protects employees in Belarus by restricting the grounds on which an employer can dismiss staff.

Further details on the dismissal regulations of Belarus are outlined in Article 42 of the Labour Code.

Salaries in Belarus

Businesses in Belarus are free to decide on their own form, system, and size of labor remuneration depending on the collective labor agreement, the labor remuneration agreement, and the labor contract.

However, salaries paid by a vast majority of Belarusian enterprises are structured according to the tariff system.

There is also a system of state guarantees with regard to labor remuneration. The minimal salary is the key instrument. Its size is set and regularly indexed by the government.

Maternity leave in Belarus

Employees are entitled to maternity leave in Belarus. The maternity leave in Belarus is one of the world’s longest. For the sake of increasing the population number and the birth rate the government has implemented a set of measures to support mothers and large families.

The current maternity leave entitlement in Belarus is:

  • 126 days’ paid maternity leave (140 if there are medical complications or if two and more kids are born),
  • 3 years’ unpaid maternity leave during which time the job position must be kept open (the mother can resume work earlier if she wants to),
  • if another child is born during these 3 years, the maternity leave entitlement starts again.

Special laws for foreign employees

The employment of foreign citizens in Belarus is regulated by the laws on the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Republic of Belarus, on external labor migration, and by international agreements.

Russian Federation citizens enjoy employment rights equal to those of Belarusians in accordance with the bilateral agreement signed by Belarus and Russia.

Apart from that, the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty regulates the employment of citizens of Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan in Belarus and the other four countries.

Trade unions in Belarus

Traditionally trade unions have been active in Belarus. Over 4 million people are members of the trade unions or over 95% of the employed population.

The Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (TUFB) is the core of the trade unions system. It comprises 15 trade unions focusing on specific branches of the economy, six oblast trade unions, and one trade union in the city of Minsk in addition to 137 district and city associations.

The Belarusian government has introduced strict requirements for the operation of trade unions, yet their influence has not been affected. They are still effective at protecting rights of the employed.

Legislation covering employment law in Belarus

Employment relations in Belarus are primarily regulated by:

  • the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus; 
  • the Labour Code;
  • law on trade unions;
  • the law on external labour migration.

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