The coming week has been declared a non-working week in Russia: is this true for everyone?

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Pepeliaev Group advises that the Decree on the Non-Working Week from 30 March to 3 April may be inapplicable to certain representatives of pharmaceutical companies.

Under Decree No. 206 of the Russian President dated 25 March 2020 “On announcing non-working days in the Russian Federation” (the “Decree”), the days from 30 March to 3 April 2020 have been announced as non-working days with employees’ salary being preserved. However, employees of certain types of organisations do not fall within the scope of this Decree. Among them are companies providing the population with basic consumer goods.

How pharmaceutical and medical companies will work

These companies fall within one of the exceptions to the Decree as they supply basic consumer goods to the population. in its Letter No. 21011/19 the Ministry of Industry and Trade provided the following clarifications: “medicines intended for human use and medical products are among the socially significant goods that are applied for medical purposes and are required for preventing, diagnosing and treating human diseases, including in the situation where the coronavirus infection SARS-CoV-2 is spreading”. For this reason, enterprises of pharmaceutical and medical industries must ensure an uninterrupted supply of the relevant products.


In our opinion, to comply with the Decree pharmaceutical companies may, at their own discretion, adopt resolutions on working hours during this period with respect to each of their structural units individually. However, departments connected with ensuring the uninterrupted supply of medicines, as well as other subdivisions of pharmaceutical companies that are not directly involved in the manufacturing process for medicines but perform a supporting function, may work in the usual way from 30 March to 3 April, if the company so decides.

How work during the next week will be formalised from the perspective of labour legislation will depend on the employer’s specifics. In many companies individual subdivisions or employees will work under the rules of a non-working day, provided that the employer has initiated or sanctioned this work.

What to think about and what to do

Despite it being necessary to support the production and supply of medicines during the non-working week, we recommend, where possible, working remotely or refraining from work altogether.

Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers are ready to provide comprehensive legal support and offer advice on the new developments in the regulation that are rapidly emerging in connection with the measures being taken to counteract the coronavirus infection.

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