Minimum wage in Russia

A guide to minimum wage in Russia

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Minimum wages in Russia vary between Russian cities – up to almost double – although the government also sets a federal Russian minimum wage. What wages in Russia can you expect?

While the minimum wage in Russia set by the federal government grew significanly in 2016, it still remains below minimum wage levels across Europe. If you're looking at jobs in Russia, however, you will find many high-level positions advertised with wages in Russia that are signficantly higher than the minimum wage.

The Russian minimum wage in 2017 is RUB 7,500 rubles per month – putting the Russian minimum wage in dollars at approximately USD 126 – following a 20 percent increase from RUB 6,204 in July 2016. This represented the second rise in a year, after the minimum wage in Russia was increased by 4 percent in January 2016.

The low Russia minimum wage reflects an economy that has shrunk in recent years, with wages in Russia dropping by more than 9 percent in 2015. Some 14 percent of the country living in poverty, according to official state statistics and the World Bank.

There is some consolation for workers in Russia living in the biggest cities, however, as local governments can set their own minimum wages. As such, Russian minimum wage levels in cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg are considerably higher – almost double – than many other regions.

What wages in Russia can you expect? This guide explains the development of minimum wage in Russia, the Russian minimum wage system and details on the different minimum wages around Russia.

Russia minimum wage

Russian minimum wage 2017

Russia’s minimum wage is set to increase by RUB 300 roubles as of 1 July 2017 to RUB 7,800 per month.

The bill to increase the minimum wage in Russia was passed in parliament in December 2016 and has been approved by the government. This Russian minimum wage will apply throughout the country, although some areas will continue to offer a higher minimum wage on a regional basis.

Although the Russian minimum wage is set to rise to RUB 7,800 rubles per month, it still remains far below most western countries. After July 2017, the monthly minimum wage in Russia will be the equivalent of just over USD 131 per month or EUR 123 (at the time of publication).

Minimum wage in Russia per hour

With an average 40-hour work week, a minimum wage in Russia per hour can be estimated at around RUB 48.75 (around USD 0.85 or EUR 0.80 per hour).

Minimum wage in Russia's regions

While there is officially a federal Russian minimum wage, the levels vary significantly across the country due to local government agreements. Major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg and regions with significant natural resources receive the highest wages in Russia, while the lowest average wages are typically paid in regions such as North Caucasus and South Siberia.

Minimum wage in St Petersburg

The minimum wage in St Petersburg was increased in January 2017 to reach RUB 16,000 per month (EUR 253), after an agreement was reached between the local governments and trade union associations.

This 40 percent increase means the wage in St Petersburg is now double the federal Russian minimum wage. Any employers in St Petersburg (excluding those financed by the government) must pay the minimum wage unless they have an agreement with the trade unions.

Minimum wage in Moscow

The minimum wage in Moscow is currently RUB 17,561 per month (EUR 278). The Mayor announced the current minimum wage in September 2016, and the wage represents the first increase since November 2015.

The minimum wage in Moscow is based on local government calculations on the cost of living, which it claims is RUB 17,561 a month for able-bodied adults, RUB 10,833 for pensioners and RUB 13,259 for children.

Wages in russia

Conditions for wages in Russia

Although minimum wages in Russia are considerably lower than Europe, workers have certain rights to generous holidays and overtime wages in Russia.

Employees who work at the weekend are usually given an additional day off, or on some occasions are instead entitled to a double-time wage for the day. In terms of working overtime, the first two hours of an overtime shift should be paid at time-and-a-half, and any hours thereafter should be paid at double time.

According to the Russian Federation’s Labour Code, the full-time working week shouldn’t exceed 40 hours. Some groups of workers (such as students, disabled people and single parents) are allowed to take on part-time or temporary jobs, and in some cases have their salaries supplemented from the state’s Social Insurance Fund.

In addition to paid Russian public holidays (including the 10 days between New Year and Orthodox Christmas), Russian employees who work full-time are allowed 28 days of paid holiday each year, as long as they have been in their roles for six months. While employees can generally choose how many days to take off if they request in advance, a single 14-day period off work each year is mandatory.

Read Expatica's guides on finding jobs in Russia, Russian business culture and how to get a Russian work permit

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