Chapter 3. Labor law in the post-Soviet period and up to the present day

The end of the 20th century was marked by the fruitful development of the labor legislation of our state, several fundamental laws were adopted: Law of the RSFSR of April 19, 1991 No. 1032-1 “On employment in the RSFSR”[26], which fixed the basic concepts of labor law, such as: a citizen, an employed citizen, and also expressed the most important aspects of state policy in the field of employment of the population., Law of the RSFSR of March 11, 1992 No. conclusions., as well as Federal Laws of November 23, 1995 No. 175-FZ “On the procedure for resolving collective labor disputes” [28], of January 12, 1996 No. 10-FZ “On trade unions, their rights and guarantees of activity” [29 ], dated July 17, 1999 No. 181-FZ “On the basics of labor protection in the Russian Federation” [30].

Perestroika, with its ideological and economic transformations, required a significant revision not only of certain norms of labor legislation, but also of the theory of the industry itself. The emergence of a new type of employers – commercial organizations and individual entrepreneurs led to the need for the state to refuse to interfere in the economic activities of employers, including in the sphere of regulation of wage labor relations. However, it was necessary to maintain the achieved level of social protection of workers.

The interim period from the socialist Labor Code to the market Labor Code marked the search for new mechanisms for the legal regulation of labor relations, which did not always lead to successful solutions[31]. During this period, separate regulatory legal acts are adopted that establish the features of labor regulation in the new economic conditions. The development of the rental form of labor organization was accompanied by the emergence of a new model of legal regulation of labor relations.[32]

The fourth Labor Code in the history of our state, therefore, after the Codes of 1918, 1922 and 1971, was adopted on December 30, 2001. It entered into force a little later, namely from February 1, 2002. Work on its draft took about 10 years, which indicates the proper preparation of the normative act. The initial draft was published for public discussion in order to take into account the interests of all stakeholders – workers, employers, trade unions. During this period, Russia has ratified several major conventions of the International Labor Organization, in particular: Convention No. 156 “On equal treatment and equal opportunities for working men and women: workers with family responsibilities”, Convention No. 150 “On the regulation of labor issues: the role, functions and organization “, Convention No. 81 “On Labor Inspection”, Convention No. 155 “On Safety and Health in the Work Environment”[33]

It is important to emphasize that, according to experts, the current Russian Labor Code has become perhaps the most loyal to employees in all of Europe. They cannot be fired without paying a two-month allowance; a person cannot be fired during an illness or during a vacation. When reducing staff, it is necessary to offer the reduced other free vacancies in the company.

It should be noted that the new Code was originally created taking into account the principles and provisions of international labor law, and perhaps that is why it is to this day one of the most stable codes in the Russian Federation. After a year, after the publication of the new Labor Code, all parties stated that the document actually works, but practice has revealed the need to improve its individual provisions. Namely, in practice, the Labor Code turned out to be too unsuitable for life: the wording is vague, and some articles, for example, on the procedure for dismissing staff, forced employers to use tricks to get rid of really bad employees.

According to the Russian socio-political newspaper “Trud”, we can conclude that if the 90s were the time when 37% of young people wanted to do their own business, then the 2000s are the era of officials. Since 2001, the number of those who want to work in public authorities has consistently increased. Among young people, there are 18% of such people, among the adult population – almost 40%. In 2008, the labor market was shaken by the crisis. In two years, more than 2 million Russians have lost their jobs. The hardest hit were blue-collar workers in manufacturing and industry.[34] And all because becoming a boss is easier than staying in office. Therefore, legislation should support ordinary working citizens more strongly.

I consider it necessary to express an opinion that the development of Russian labor legislation has a number of specific features due to the difficulty and importance of the social role of labor law in society.

Firstly, the labor law of our state should emphasize the federal nature of the state, acting under the conditions of delimitation of powers and jurisdiction between the federal government bodies of Russia and the authorities of its subjects.

Secondly, the labor law of the Russian Federation is formed with the broad participation of trade unions and labor collectives. That is why local regulations are of great importance. In accordance with Art. 5 of the current Labor Code of the Russian Federation “… labor relations and other relations directly related to them are regulated by collective agreements, agreements and local regulations containing labor law norms.” As we can see, local acts play an important role in labor relations. In particular, they can establish: internal labor regulations, labor discipline, a system of remuneration and incentives for labor, the procedure for attesting employees, and much more.

The basic rights of citizens in the field of employment and employment, as we know, are enshrined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. It establishes that everyone has the right to freely dispose of their abilities to work, to choose the type of activity and profession, as well as the right to protection from unemployment[35]. And the state, in turn, undertakes to guarantee citizens the most effective exercise of such rights, which, first of all, follows from the constitutional principle according to which the Russian Federation is a social state, whose policy is aimed at creating conditions that ensure a decent life and free development of a person[ 36].

The need for state intervention in the regulation of relations in the field of employment and employment also follows from international legal documents. In particular, an article of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes that the right to work includes the right of everyone to be able to earn his living in work that he freely chooses or to which he freely agrees[37]. At the same time, the named pact fixes the obligation of states to take appropriate measures to ensure the right to work (which include measures to promote employment of the population, carried out, for example, by the state employment service).

Helping countries to increase productive and freely chosen employment and eventually achieve full employment is one of the main objectives of the work of the International Labor Organization[38]. In particular, the ILO seeks to “promote the adoption by the countries of the world of programs aimed at … full employment and improved living standards”, taking into account the fact that “poverty anywhere is a threat to the general welfare”. As part of this overall mission, the ILO is called upon to be active in the field of employment by promoting balanced and long-term economic growth, combined with sound social policies; poverty alleviation through the adoption of measures aimed at promoting paid productive employment; improving labor efficiency and the quality of employment in the formal and informal sectors of the economy; special support for the least protected categories of citizens experiencing difficulties in the labor market.[39] These basic principles were detailed in a number of legal acts of the ILO, among which, first of all, it should be noted the Convention No. 97 (1949) on migrant workers and the Recommendation of the same name; Convention and Recommendation No. 122 on employment policy (1964) and a number of others.

Summing up this stage in the history of the development of the Labor Law of Russia, one cannot fail to say about the large amount of work that has been done in such a short period of time for history. Two codes were created, a large number of other normative legal acts in the sphere of labor were issued, which in the future will give a strong impetus to the improvement of labor legislation.

The basis for such an improvement will be the main directions of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of labor, which can be identified on the website of the Government of the Russian Federation, as well as by studying the Main directions of activity of the Government of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2018. This will be the subject of the fourth chapter of my course work.

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