The Federation Council has planned to toughen the punishment for “gray” salaries

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Senators intend to prepare proposals to increase responsibility for employers for the payment of unofficial wages to employees. On Thursday, April 29, TASS reports with reference to a copy of the approved list of instructions to members of the Federation Council on the implementation of the message of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Federal Assembly.

According to him, the Federation Council plans to “improve legislation” in terms of ensuring constant monitoring of the situation on the labor market and to prepare “systemic proposals on motivating employees to legalize their labor activity”, as well as to strengthen the responsibility of employers for the payment of “gray” wages.

According to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, evasion of taxes, dues or insurance premiums payable by an organization is punishable by imprisonment for up to two years with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to three years or without it.

In November 2020, the head of the Federation Council Committee on Budget and Financial Markets, Anatoly Artamonov, said that the volume of the unofficial salary fund in Russia exceeds 10 trillion rubles annually, about 30-40% of Russians receive a “gray” salary. In addition, about 25 million people in the country are involved in informal employment, that is, 32.5% of the economically active population.

He stressed that due to “gray” wages, the Russian budget system loses about 3 trillion rubles in revenues, which is almost 3% of the country’s GDP.

At the end of May, Artamonov proposed to toughen criminal penalties for such salaries in the country. He noted that responsibility should come for the payment of any amount, while now the punishment is applied only with a “gray” salary of 100 thousand rubles and above. The proposal is forwarded to a nationwide economic recovery plan.

Opor Rossii criticized Artamonov’s idea, pointing out that tax breaks should be introduced in order to bring business out of the shadows, and not toughen criminal penalties. One of the first serious steps taken by the government in the organization called the reduction of insurance premiums for small and medium-sized businesses from April 1, 2020 by half – to 15% from the amount above the minimum wage.

44% of Russians are ready to receive a salary in envelopes, 31% of respondents are not ready, according to the results of a survey by the SuperJob job search service, conducted in December last year. 49% of men against 39% of women do not agree to such wages.