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Special assessment of working conditions – terms and procedure

Article 212 of the Russian Labor Code requires employers to conduct a special assessment of working conditions. The relations, obligations and rights of employers and employees associated with special assessments of working conditions are regulated by Federal Law N 426-FZ dated December 28, 2013.

Special assessment of working conditions

Special assessments of working conditions are conducted by employers to evaluate the impact of hazardous and harmful factors on workers for the subsequent use of personal and collective protective equipment (if established hygiene standards are not met).

How often should special assessments of working conditions be conducted?

Scheduled special assessments of working conditions must be conducted every 5 years (Article 8(4) Federal Law 426-FZ), but if all workplaces are in category 1 and 2, and no accidents, health and safety violations and occupational diseases occurred in 5 years, then the deadline for conducting a special assessment of working conditions is extended for another 5 years (Ministry of Labor Letter N 15-1/ООГ-1968 dated August 30, 2019).

Unscheduled special assessments of working conditions are conducted on the grounds specified in Article 17 of Federal Law 426-FZ as follows:

At the relevant workplaces within 12 months of:

  1. The roll-out of newly organized workplaces;
  2. Changes in the technological process (or the composition of the materials or raw materials used) affecting occupational hazard or harmfulness;

Within 6 months of:

  1. An accident at work;
  2. Identifying that one of the employees fell ill due to hazardous or harmful factors in the workplace;
  3. Receipt of an order from labor authorities based on the findings of an inspection that identified health and safety violations;
  4. Change in used personal and collective protective equipment;
  5. Suggestions made by trade unions;
  6. Receipt of objections or comments from an employee regarding the findings of the previous special assessment of working conditions of the employee’s workplace.

In which cases are special assessments of working conditions not necessary?

  1. No employees – if a company has only one employee and no leased office;
  2. Employees working from home and remote employees as well as employees hired by individuals who are not entrepreneurs (Article 3(3) Federal Law 426-FZ).

The absence of special assessment of working conditions for vacant jobs is not a violation, but a special assessment of working conditions must be conducted within six months of hiring a new employee.

Deadlines for special assessment of working conditions

Reports on special assessment of working conditions are to be submitted to labor authorities within 30 working days of the assessment date.

The deadline for special assessments of working conditions, which have expired or will expire from April to September 2020, is extended until October 1, 2020 (Government Decree N 849 dated June 11, 2020).

Cost of special assessments of working conditions

The cost of special assessments of working conditions depends on how urgently they are required, the number of workplaces, the location of the employer’s office and the complexity of the assessment.

What is affected by special assessments of working conditions

Pension Fund and Social Insurance Fund. The guarantees and compensations guaranteed to employees for harmful and hazardous factors in the workplace depend on the results of specials assessment of working conditions.

Control over special assessments of working conditions

The State Labor Inspection Service (labor authorities) always requires submitting reports on special assessment of working conditions during scheduled and unscheduled inspections. One of the reasons for an unscheduled inspection by labor authorities is the violation of the procedure for conducting a special assessment of working conditions. Anna Reznikova, our chief labor lawyer, spoke on June 03, 2020 about employer liability, the grounds and special aspects of labor inspections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fines for absence of special assessment of working conditions

In case of labor inspection, the inspector will first check the availability and relevance of special assessment of working conditions. If the assessment has not been conducted properly, the following fines will be imposed:

  • A fine from RUB 60,000 to RUB 80,000 imposed on companies (Article 5.27.1 Code of Administrative Offenses);
  • A fine from RUB 5,000 to RUB 10,000 imposed on company officers.

In case of repeated offense:

  • A fine from RUB 30,000 to RUB 40,000 will be imposed on company officers, or disqualification from 1 to 3 years;
  • A fine from RUB 100,000 to RUB 200,000 will be imposed on legal entities, or suspension of activity for up to 90 days;
  • A fine of up to RUB 40,000 will be imposed on individual entrepreneurs with possible suspension of activity of up to 90 days.

Procedure for conducting a special assessment of working conditions

  1. A special assessment of working conditions begins with the issuance of an order to set up a commission for special assessment of working conditions.
  2. A list of jobs and a schedule for special assessment of working conditions must then be drawn up [template of list of jobs and schedule]. A special assessment of similar jobs is conducted only for 20% of those jobs (with a minimum of 2). The jobs that are deemed similar are specified in Article 9(6) of Federal Law 436-FZ.
  3. The order for conducting a special assessment of working conditions should specify the composition of the commission and the assessment start date. The commission members must read and sign the order [order template]. If necessary, it is possible to engage commission members who are not employees of the organization.
  4. A contract for special assessment of working conditions is concluded with a specialized organization.
  5. All documents, data, and information necessary for conducting a special assessment of working conditions are passed on to the specialized organization engaged to conduct the special assessment of working conditions.
  6. An expert in special assessment of working conditions comes to the organization subject to the assessment.
  7. The expert reviews work processes, inspects workplaces, and studies employees’ work schedule. 
  8. The expert determined the factors to be assessed and draws up a plan for assessment of workplaces.
  9. Based on the assessment of each workplace, the expert classifies them in one of the four categories of working conditions (the categories are defined in Article 14 of Federal Law 426-FZ).
  10. The specialized organization drafts a report on special assessment of working conditions. This report must be signed by all members of the commission. If a commission member does not agree with the results of the special assessment of working conditions, the commission member will be entitled to attach to the report an opinion with reasons given in writing. The procedure for report drafting is provided in a decree issued by the Ministry of Labor. Companies must notify the specialized organization of the approval of the report on special assessment of working conditions within three days (Article 15( 5.1) Federal Law 426-FZ).
  11. Within 30 days of the approval of the report, companies must:
    • Submit a declaration of compliance of working conditions with statutory standards on the form approved by a decree issued by the Ministry of Labor.
    • Familiarize all employees with the report and get it signed by all employees (vacation, business trips and rest between rotation are not included in this period).
    • Post the report on the company website.
  12. When submitting reporting to the Social Insurance Fund, companies must report the results of special assessment of working conditions on form 4-FSS approved by Social Insurance Fund Order No. 381 dated  September 26, 2016.
  13. Based on the results of special assessment of working conditions, employers must review the guarantees and compensations to employees, as well as include in employment contracts with new employees provisions describing the working conditions at each workplace and enter into additional agreements with everyone already employed.

New rules for using special assessment results since 2020

Employers cannot use the results of special assessment of working conditions before they are entered in the accounting information system. The specialized organization engaged to conduct the special assessment transfers the data to the accounting system and notifies the employer within three working days of the data transfer. If the special assessment results contain information constituting state or other secret protected by law, then they are not transferred to the information system, and they can be used from the date of approval of the report on special assessment of working conditions. Declarations of compliance have been since 2020 valid only after data entry into the system. Under the previous procedure, the document was valid from the date of approval of the report on special assessment.

Declarations of compliance for special assessment results containing information constituting state or other secret protected by law, are valid from the date of report approval as before (Federal Law 451-FZ dated December 27, 2019).

Any further questions?

Our lawyers provide services for conducting special assessment of working conditions. Please feel free to contact us for advice.

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