Bricks and scissors: a legal Opinion on whether to pay the salaries of employees in non-monetary form

In early September 2014 in the Russian media widely discussed the news of the Soviet workers construction materials plant, located in the Tula region of Russia, which the guide had paid the salaries of the companys products — bricks. In a way the leadership was not able to repay the entire debt to their employees, which totals to 4.41 million roubles bricks was “given” only 900 thousand rubles. “Wage arrears have arisen due to the fact that since the beginning of the year produced bricks, but the money he had received as repayment of debt “Strojservis plus”,” — explained the Director General of the plant. The publication says RBC.

In 2001 the plant was purchased by “Strojservis plus”, and today the size of its debt, 47 million rubles. As later reported the publication of “Medusa”, the Prosecutors office of Tula region “has not found infringements in actions of the management of the plant”. In making its decision, the Prosecutor relied on article 131 of the Labor code, which provides the possibility of compensation of employees in this form.

In February 2015 the staff of the Volgograd chain stores “Tsar Product” complained that the employer without their consent began to give 10% of salary supermarkets gift cards. Workers complained to the anti-corruption organization “Public Independent Inspection”. “Products “Tsar product” I dont want to buy. Firstly, expensive.

Secondly, tasteless. But now we give out cards, and nowhere to go,” said one of the staff network. Recruiting company Superjob conducted its own study, which surveyed 1,600 respondents from across the country and found out if they received the salary of the companys products, which employs 2% of respondents admitted that they happened in the past year.

Some Russian media associate these events with the economic crisis, but the Superjob research shows that compared to 2011 the share of employees who received wages products, not only has not increased, but decreased (from 3% to 2%). Employees who participated in the survey, told Superjob about how they were faced with a similar situation.

Among those who last year received a salary of the companys products or to other non-monetary form, not only ordinary employees, but also managers. A leading analyst of one of the companies in Saratov admitted that he regularly receives offers from top management to purchase products at a discounted price. Director of the company in Dmitrov got together payday travel certificate for a trip. Head of procurement from Tver as compensation received various metal products. Greenhouse and grill.

Such incidents happen not only with workers from Russia. In the June 2015 edition of “the Elephant” told about the situation in Belarus, where the economy is experiencing a decline — partly due to the drop in Russian demand for domestically produced products. Belarusian media talk about such cases are more likely than Russian.

For example, the products got paid some employees Rogachev dairy plant — guide them paid condensed milk. Among other similar cases — the payment of wages sour cream to the employees of one of the shops Schuchin butter and cheese factory (according to the management, the employees themselves asked about it) and the payment of premiums linens in Baranovichi cotton mill. In early September Mogilev plant “Krasny Metallist” gave its employees a portion of the salaries of scissors and sugar.

The lawyer of the company “European Legal Service” is told, in which case the employer may exercise the right to pay part of the salaries of the companys products and there are similar practices in other countries. Payment of wages in kind is allowed by the labor legislation of the Russian Federation, but with significant limitations. First, this form of wage payment may take place only if the employee is declared thereof by contacting the employer with a written statement.

Secondly, the total amount of wages paid in kind should not exceed 20% of the total wages payable to the employee that is expressly provided for by article 131 of the Labour Code. Any compulsion to receive wages in kind in addition to the desire of the employee or payment in excess of 20% will be an administrative offence and shall be punished in accordance with article 5.27 of the Code of administrative offences.

With regard to regulation in foreign countries, any radical and threatening a significant punishment prohibitions on payment of wages in kind is not available, a complete ban on the payment of wages in kind exists only in a few countries. So, in the USA the Law On “fair labour standards” (section 3, 6 and 7) and section 531.27 section 29 of the United States code explicitly provides that wages may be paid in the form of cash equivalents forms, which are defined, among other things, food, accommodation, obtaining garments and home appliances and so on. Only a ban, similar to that established by article 131 of the Labour Code — prohibition of the payment of wages coupons, receipts, credit cards and other such financial and quasi-financial instruments.

There is no limit on the amount of wages to a percentage of the overall salary. Thus, it is hardly possible to find provisions in the laws of developed countries, where the issue of wages in kind would need to be regulated more radically than in Russia.


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