The Ministry of Economic Development has published a summary of best practices to prevent the spread of COVID

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Pepeliaev Group advises that the Ministry of Economic Development, together with business associations, has issued a summary of best practices of preventive measures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus, “Business against COVID”.

The project intends to encourage as many entrepreneurs as possible to implement self-organisation and self-control practices aimed at complying with sanitary and epidemiological requirements, and to ensure that entities assume additional obligations and restrictions allowing them to reduce the incidence rate of COVID-19 and thus to ease the harm caused to the economy. Business communities assume obligations to implement additional measures on a voluntary basis.

The Ministry of Economic Development has set up a working group for exchanging experiences. The work involves collaboration with representatives of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Sport, the Ministry of Culture, the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (also known by the Russian acronym “Rospotrebnadzor”) and the Russian Federal Agency of Tourism. The project has been mounted by business associations, which act at the same time as the coordinators and controllers of all the processes. 

For instance, entrepreneurs can join the Deloros Covid Free Declaration of Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia), a nationwide public organisation, at the web-portal. After filling in a questionnaire, the applicant will receive from the organisational committee an acknowledgement that he/she has been included in the register of participants. 

New participants (irrespective of where the entity is located) voluntarily assume obligations to switch online as many business processes as possible and for their employees to work remotely; they guarantee that employees who are not working remotely will be provided with individual protective gear and that no less than 10% of the employees will be tested for the coronavirus; they also minimise the number of meetings with more than three employees, and provide for regular disinfection as well as other measures. The participants of the declaration also make additional efforts to protect employees who fall within the COVID-19 risk group (those suffering from diabetes, obesity, chest trouble, bronchial asthma, etc.). The participants of the project place the DelorosCovidFree pin on the organisation’s website and a special sticker at their physical location.

The fact that the Ministry of Economic Development is involved in the project encourages entrepreneurs to voluntarily fulfil non-statutory obligations aimed at obtaining a socially useful outcome. The summary of the Ministry of Economic Development lists efforts to be taken to control compliance with sanitary and epidemiological requirements in various business spheres: online trading, cinemas, restaurants and hotels, retail trading and the manufacturing of consumer electronics and computer equipment, the fitness industry and others. 

Based on the suggested list, companies independently devise internal protocols and regulations for business interaction in order to carry out corporate monitoring of Rospotrebnadzor’s recommendations being followed[1], taking into consideration the additional measures being taken (introducing cluster-based systems for organising workplaces and no-touch interaction with suppliers, reducing the range of goods at pick-up locations, abandoning cash payments, introducing a safe distance between cashier’s desks and kiosks, extending the slots between shows in cinemas, etc.). 

What to think about and what to do

Against the backdrop of the spread of the coronavirus, introducing increased penalties for violating sanitary and epidemiological restrictions may be insufficient. Entities voluntarily assume additional restrictions and obligations aimed at preventing another lock-down like the one introduced this spring, i.e. when the state imposed harsh restrictive measures to ensure public health and safety. 

In this connection, we recommend paying attention to the self-control practices implemented by the business community as well as additional measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Economic Development and internally developed methodologies, taking into consideration the specifics of your entity’s activities.

Help from your adviser

The experts of Pepeliaev Group pride themselves on versatile expertise in the field of devising and supporting internal controls, including those relating to the introduction of sanitary and epidemiological requirements.

We are ready to provide the necessary legal support in the development and practical implementation of the necessary internal policies, internal regulations, and policies with respect to applying incentive and liability measures to employees when they perform or breach their duties in connection with preventing and counteracting violations of safety measures against the backdrop of the spread of the new COVID-19 infection.

[1] Rospotrebnadzor’s Letter No. 02/7376-2020-24 dated 20 April 2020 “On providing recommendations for managing the activities of enterprises in the context of the spread of COVID-19 risks”

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