Employment relationships and other relationships associated with them are regulated by:
1. the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus;
2. the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter referred to as the Labour Code) and other labour laws;
3. collective agreements, accords and other local legal acts, adopted in conformity with the legislation;
4. a contract of employment.
The basis for the employment relationship between a worker and an employer is a contract of employment, concluded between the parties in written form, which lays out the first day of work, or actual admission to work authorized by the employer’s representative.
A contract of employment is a voluntary agreement between two parties – a worker and an employer. It is up to the parties to choose among different types of employment contracts.
A contract of employment can be concluded for:
- an indefinite term;
- a fixed term which is not to exceed a five-year period (a fixed-term contract);
- a definite period of time needed to perform certain work;
- a period of time needed to perform the duties of an absent worker who has the right to return to his/her workplace in accordance with the Labour Code;
- a period of time needed to do work of a seasonal nature.
A contract of employment concluded for the period of 1 to 5 years is a form of a fixed-term contract (Art. 17 of the Labour Code).
A contract of employment is made in written form in duplicate and is signed by the parties (Art. 18 of the Labour Code).
The working week is not to exceed 40 hours.
Disabled workers, workers under the age of 18 and workers involved in dangerous and hazardous jobs are employed under different arrangements as regards working time (working time norms are reduced).
Pregnant women and workers under the age of 18 are not allowed to work at night (from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Disabled workers and women who have children under the age of 3 are allowed to work at night only if they have given their consent.
Regardless of the type of the employment contract signed, the form of remuneration used and the category of the employer, the worker is entitled to paid annual leave of at least 24 calendar days.
As a rule, paid leave is granted annually, i.e. every working year.
For failure to perform his/her professional duties or fulfill responsibilities the worker may be subject to disciplinary action (a warning, a reprimand or dismissal).
A contract of employment can be terminated only on the grounds envisaged by the labour legislation, in particular the Labour Code, Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of July 26, 1999 No.29 “On Additional Measures to Improve Labour Relations, Strengthen Labour and Performance Discipline”, and other legislative acts.
In cases envisaged by the labour legislation when the worker is dismissed at the initiative of the employer he/she is entitled to a severance payment. In most cases, when labour relashionships are terminated at the initiative of the employer, the severance payment amounts to a two-week salary. If the termination of employment is due to redundancy, liquidation or discontinuance of entrepreneurial activities, the worker is entitled to a redundancy payment which amounts to at least three-month average salary.
Local legal acts, including collective agreements and accords, may guarantee additional safeguards for workers, which, for instance, can provide for higher rates of severance or redundancy payments.