Termination of Employment Contract and Dismissal in Russia 

The Russian law is very protective of employees and gives them maximum freedom in terms of termination of their employment. An employee has the right to terminate an employment contract by providing the employer with a written notice two weeks in advance (article 80 of the Employment Code). This notice period is extended to at least one month in respect of the company’s CEO (article 280 of the Employment Code). Therefore, it is easy to terminate the contract at the will of employee. It is much less so for the employers. 

The employers don't have such a freedom and can terminate an employment contract (dimiss) in a limited number of cases, namely in cases of:

  • Liquidation of the company

  • Reduction in the number of employees or staff positions

  • Unsuitability of an employee for the job position, as a result of insufficient qualifications (shall be confirmed by the results of the employee’s formal evaluation)

  • Change of the company’s owner (only for company’s CEO, deputies, and chief accountant)

  • Repeated failure by an employee to perform job functions without justifiable reasons if an employee has a valid disciplinary sanction imposed on the employee

  • Single gross breach by an employee of the employment duties in the following cases:

    • absence from the workplace without justifiable reasons for more than four consecutive hours in the course of working day

    • alcoholic, narcotic or other intoxication at work

    • disclosure of a legally-protected secret

    • stealing the property of others at the place of work

    • breach of work safety requirements by the employee established by a work safety commission or work safety official if the breach resulted in grave consequences (job-related accident, emergency or disaster) or knowingly created an actual threat of such consequences.

    • if a work of an employee is connected with money or other valuables and the employee commits guilty acts

  • Taking an unfounded decision by the company’s CEO, a CEO deputy or a chief accountant, if the decision resulted in the breach of safekeeping of the organization’s property, or illegitimate use of that property, or other damage to the property of the organization;

  • Single gross breach of employment duties by CEO (the head of the branch or representative office of the organization) or the deputies;

  • If an employee provided forged documents upon the employment agreement.


If an employee is dismissed on the grounds not mentioned above, such dismissal will be probably considered as violation of employment law. Even if the employer properly justified the dismissal before the employee,  there are a number of technical details for the dismissal which shall be also observed. If you think that there was an unjustified dismissal, it is better to apply to court as early as possible as a fired person has only one month to contest an unlawful dismissal.