As of March 1, 2024, Order of the Ministry of Labor No. 40n of 02.02.24 came into force, which approved a list of signs indicating illegal employment and indirectly confirming that employers for tax optimization purposes artificially disguise employment relationships with civil law contracts. One of such signs is now the mass involvement in the performance of work and provision of services on a long-term basis self-employed, applying a special tax regime “Professional Income Tax”, which may become another reason for employers to conduct unscheduled labor audits.

This year employer inspections will be carried out not only by Rostrud, but also by special regional interdepartmental commissions for combating illegal employment, created in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation within the framework of the implementation of the new law on employment (Federal Law No. 565-FZ of 12.12.2023).

The purpose of the new commissions is to check whether the conclusion of contracts with the self-employed is justified and whether the self-employed are not hidden full-time employees.

The new commissions will start working after the approval of the rules and regulations for their work. It is known that the commissions will be able to request from the Federal Tax Service and receive various information, including information that constitutes a tax secret.

In the risk zone are companies that meet at least one of the criteria mentioned:

  • Cooperation with more than 10 self-employed persons,
  • Self-employed person has an average monthly income of more than 50 thousand rubles from one enterprise or sole proprietorship,
  • Deviation of the average monthly labor remuneration by 35 and more percent from the average industry wage in the region,
  • Presence of 10 or more employees with wages below the minimum wage,
  • Suspicion of substitution of labor contracts by contracts with self-employed.

If contracts with the self-employed meet these criteria, under the new rules they may be reclassified by the inspection authorities as labor relations. This will result in additional taxes, insurance contributions, penalties and administrative fines for companies for failure to formalize employment contracts.

If the commission proves the fact of illegal employment, the employer will be included in a special register, which will be maintained by Rostrud. The register will be operational from January 1, 2025, and will be publicly available information posted on the Rostrud website.