Labor Code discussion to start on ONF floor in autumn

29/7 Tass 322

MOSCOW, July 29 (Itar-Tass) — The discussion of the Labor Code will begin on the floor of the All-Russia People’s Front (ONF) this autumn, said Andrei Isayev, deputy secretary of the presidium of the General Council, United Russia Party. Isayev is chairman of the committee on labor and social policy under the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament.

“The discussion of the Labor Code will be moved to the ONF floor in order to involve as many social groups as possible, as these amendments concern them,” Isayev told a news conference earlier this week.

Commenting the recent initiative of the “Right Cause” leader Mikhail Prokhorov, who took up to amend the Labor Code under the aegis of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), the lawmaker noted that “the amendments proposed by Prokhorov are destructive, as they only protect the employers.”

“No sober-minded lawmaker will subscribe to them. The government, the State Duma and the Russian Tripartite Commission (RTK) will be justified in rejecting them,” Isayev said.

He firmly disagreed with Prokhorov’s claims that the effective Labor Code, written in the 1970s, is hopelessly obsolete and that it does not address the present-day reality.

“I’ll remind them that this law was passed by the State Duma in 2001 after a 12-month discussion in the society,” Isayev said.

He noted that the incumbent State Duma had passed an important procedural decision: no issue concerning social/labor relations can be reviewed by the house without preliminary cooperation at the tripartite commission on settling social and labor relations.

The working group under the committee on labor and social policy comprises representatives of trade unions, employers and government members. If either party vetoes an amendment to the labor legislation, this amendment will not be brought for consideration at the State Duma.

“The work on the Labor Code is open and democratic. If someone tries to suggest another system, let them be confident that the forced norms will never pass a hearing at the government, the RKT or the State Duma,” Isayev said.

The lawmaker severely criticized the idea of the 60-hour workweek: “Prokhorov and his associates often do not know themselves what they want: once they support the 60-hour workweek, once they don’t. He says he wishes to let people have the opportunity to work more and earn more – but he’s lying, as the Labor Code provides such a right even now. There is a notion of extra work which is paid double. There is also the so-called open-ended working day. But it is stipulated by labor contract in advance, and the employee receives additional compensation. Also, the Labor Code gives the opportunity to have a second job.”

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