The State Duma assessed the proposal to increase the punishment for “gray” wages

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At this stage, it is impossible to solve the problem with “gray” wages in Russia by increasing responsibility. Yaroslav Nilov, head of the State Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs, told Izvestia about this, commenting on the corresponding initiative of the Federation Council on Thursday, April 29.

According to him, the fight against “gray” wages in Russia should be solved by analyzing the reasons why it is more profitable for an employer to pay “in an envelope”.

“Strengthening the employer’s responsibility will not lead to serious changes in the labor market in terms of the presence there of a“ gray ”or“ black ”employment sector,” he said, adding that in Russia there is already “quite serious responsibility” for such salaries for the employer but “it doesn’t stop him.”

The deputy noted that sometimes it is unprofitable for an employer to run a business if real salaries of employees are provided to the tax authorities.

Nilov also stressed that over time, artificial intelligence (AI) systems will be sent to combat such salaries, which will analyze the income and expenses of citizens. They are most likely to identify those organizations where such violations are most likely to occur.

He recalled that an employee who receives a salary “in an envelope”, for example, during the coronavirus pandemic, could lose his job, or stop receiving money if the employer could not pay it. An employee who is not insured in social funds will also not receive compensation in case of injury at work, vacation, sick leave.

The head of the Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs added that the problem of such salaries is relevant for the whole world and is regularly discussed at the sites of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Earlier on Thursday, the media, citing 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, wrote that the Federation Council would prepare proposals to increase punishment for the payment of “gray” wages.

It was reported that the Federation Council is going to ensure constant monitoring of the situation on the labor market and prepare 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 Russian Criminal Code, evading taxes, fees or insurance premiums that an organization must pay is punishable by up to two years in prison, with or without the disqualification to hold certain posts or engage in certain activities for up to three years.