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Changes to Belarusian labour laws

Belarus: Amendments to the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus enter into force on 25 July 2014.

Under the current version of the Labour Code a director is forbidden outside paid employment, excluding teaching, scientific or creative activity and medical practice. After the amendments enter into force this prohibition will end. However, outside paid employment is still forbidden, excluding the activities specified above, if a director is employed by a state organisation or a company with 50 % of its share capital owned by the state.

Currently, fixed-term employment agreements are allowed in the following situations: 1) it is impossible to establish employment relations for an indefinite term due to characteristics of the job (eg, seasonal work); 2) it is prescribed by the Labour Code (eg, for government officials); 3) the parties have agreed a fixed-term "employment contract" under Presidential Decree No. 29 (minimum term 1 year, maximum 5 years). All other cases require an employment agreement for an indefinite term.

Most employees prefer fixed-term employment contracts because in this case fixed-term employment is possible no matter what the type of job. However, fixed-term employment contracts must follow additional rules. A contract that does not meet these requirements might be considered a contract for an indefinite term. Employment contacts must also define extra benefits and guarantees for employees in comparison to an ordinary employment agreement.

Once the amendments enter into force, micro-companies (ie, with no more than 15 employees) and individual entrepreneurs will be able to enter into ordinary fixed-term employment agreements (not subject to additional regulation under Presidential Decree No. 29) – no matter what the type and term of job performance and there will be no need for an employment contract.

There are also some changes to compensation for business trips. Previously an employee was compensated for all days spent on a business trip (working days, weekends and public holidays). Once the amendments come into force an employee will be compensated only for all days considered working at their permanent job position.

The changes enter into force on 25 July 2014.

Source: National legal Internet portal of the Republic of Belarus (NLIP) 24.01.2014 2/2129