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The current law on the use of temporary agency workers in Russia remains hazy, but staffing firms are still facing a threat from politicians who plan to amend the Labour Code further to restrict the use of staffing services.
In May 2011, a bill prohibiting temporary agency work was passed unanimously by the State Duma at its first reading, however, the bill was subsequently watered down. And the divisive amendments to the Labour Code were passed by the Duma in the key second reading in early May, the Moscow Times writes.
Unions have supported the move which they believe will improve job security and increase employee benefits. The amendments would enforce the role of labour inspectors who can introduce fines of up to €2,300 (RUB 100,000) if companies fail to sign labour contracts with employees. Most companies that “outsource” workers in Russia sign contracts of service with workers which do not offer any benefits, or sign no contracts at all.
Unions have long criticised that temporary workers who are not part of a union lack opportunities to defend their rights. Boris Kagarlitsky, head of the Institute for Globalization, spoke of flaws in the current labour law which allow employers to escape responsibility for temporary workers.
The current draft amendments will now be further revised in another reading, according to officials. But staffing firms warned that tighter restrictions on the use of staffing services could lead to widespread job losses, negatively impacting the economy. It has also raised concern that companies would make use of illegal forms of employment.