The Belarus labor law differs considerably from German labor law and plays a major role for any business operations as a key component regulating the internal relationships between the personnel and the management in any company. The Belarus labor law includes a large number of diverse laws and regulations and it is crucial to comply with them to ensure proper management in the company and management of its day-to-day operations. Of particular importance are: the applicable laws and regulations on labor safety, respect of employee rights, HR management and payroll accounting.

Field inspections of companies by the labour ministry and its authorities have become a frequent occasion; unfortunately such inspections detect a large number of non-compliances with labor law and typically result in the application of administrative sanctions and penalties to the employer and his top managers. Labor law and HR management requirements are very formal in Belarus. All hires, dismissals and promotions of, as well as application of sanctions to, any personnel (which is deemed by the way to include even the CEO) involve rather complicated and regulated to the tiniest detail bureaucratic procedures and a non-compliance with such procedures has quite often a negative effect on the employer, such as e.g. a reversal of the dismissal order by court decision, reinstatement of the relevant employee in office and a ruling to pay such employee considerable indemnification. Therefore the applicable labor law makes it impossible to get rid of a problematic employee “with a couple of lines in the management order”; the existence of mandatory local internal regulations, guidelines and labor book maintenance rules as well as the necessity to comply with many other formal requirements is a mandatory pre-requisite for an employer who wants assurance and security against the negative after-effects of a labor dispute.

The Belarus labor law applies to everyone – foreigners and stateless persons included – who work for a fee in Belarus. Preferential nation treatment is presumed in case of foreigners; however it can be extremely complicated to send a foreigner to work in Belarus in view of the necessity to obtain diverse approvals and permits entitling a foreigner to work in Belarus and to settle the issues regarding in particular the foreign employee’s status in terms of the social security law and his/her taxpayer status in the country of permanent residence.

The Belarus laws and regulations on foreigners working in Belarus provide for a very complicated system of fiscal controlling authorities and a multi-tier hierarchy of regulations and rules for obtaining multiple mandatory approvals and permits. Thus, the list of ‘registrations’ and ‘approvals’ required for an employer willing to hire foreign labor in Belarus includes: (1) a license to hire foreign labor; (2) a work permit for each foreign employee; (3) a notification to the authorities of the performed hire of a foreign employee; (4) a residence permit for each such employee. The above list may differ depending on the group in which the relevant foreigner is categorized; nevertheless the procedures are rather complicated and time-consuming in any case.

The skilled professionals working in our Minsk Office will provide you detailed consultations and advice on any aspects of applying the Belarus labor and migration law. Rödl & Partner HQ in  Nuremberg offers the advisory services of a team set up specially to provide advice to so-called ‘Expatriates’ i.e. foreigners dispatched by their principal employer to work in Belarus.