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Introduction – Belarus
Capital – Minsk
Currency – Belarusian Rubel (BYN)
Population – 9.39 Million
GDP – $60.26 Billion USD
Language – Belarusian & Russian
Major Religions – Orthodox Christianity
Belarus is located in eastern Europe. Until it became independent in 1991, Belarus, formerly known as Belorussia or White Russia, was the smallest of the three Slavic republics included in the Soviet Union (the larger two being Russia and Ukraine).
The biggest old-growth European forest – Belovezhskaya Pushcha – is situated in Belarus, sometimes referred to as the ‘Lungs of Europe’. Home to European bison and hundreds of other animals and birds, Belovezhskaya Pushcha is all that remains of the primeval forest that once stretched across the vast European Plain. Some oak trees growing in this forest are more than 600 years old. However, Belovezhskaya Pushcha is noteworthy for more than just its age – on December 8, 1991, the leaders of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine signed the agreement for the dissolution of the Soviet Union in a hunting lodge in the forest.
Belarusians love a good superstition. A particularly popular one is that you should never whistle in your house or you’ll blow all your money away. They also say that you shouldn’t clean your house once a guest has left until they’ve reached their final destination, or it’s believed that you’re clearing them out of your life for good.
Contract of Employment
Employment contracts in Belarus must be in writing in local language. The contract has to layout the terms of employment, the renumeration, the leave allowances and the contract termination process. In general employment contracts are executed for an indefinite period.
Limited term contracts can be executed if the term of employment will be less than 5 years, or the job is project based / seasonal or to cover the maternity leave of an employee.
Up to a maximum of 3 months.
During probation, termination notice is 3 days. Once probation has been cleared the notice period is usually 1 month. The notice period must be stipulated in the employment agreement.
40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. 8 hours per day.
Overtime should not exceed 4 hours on top of the normal working hours per day. 10 hours of overtime is the weekly limit and 180 hours per year. Overtime is paid at 2x the salary rate, alternatively an employer may give time off in lieu.
There are 24 days of annual leave once an employee has completed six months of service. The annual leave is split into a minimum of two parts, one of which must be 14 continuous days off. Annual leave can be carried forward by the employee.
All sick leave in Belarus is paid by the Social Security. The first 12 days of sickness are paid at 80% of the employees’ salary rate. Days 13 to 30 are paid at 70% of the salary rate. Employees must produce a medical certificate to justify their sick leave.
Maternity leave in Belarus is 126 days for expecting mothers, to be used as deemed fit by the employee. The employee is also entitled to 3 years of unpaid maternity leave, during which time the employees’ job must be kept open for the employee to return at anytime.
Paternity leave is 14 days in the first 6 months of the birth of the child. Payment for paternity leave must be stipulated in the employment contract, some employers choose not to offer paid paternity leave.
VAT / GST:
The VAT rate in Belarus is 20%.
Income tax due by an employee is 13% flat rate in Belarus.
Employer contribution in Belarus ranges from 34.10% to 35%.
28% – Pension.
10% – 1% – Belgosstrakh (Mandatory insurance for work related illnesses and injuries).
6% – Health insurance.
Employee contribution payroll contribution is 1%.
1% – Pension fund.
There are 9 paid public holidays in Belarus.
Severance pay must be stipulated in the employment contract, the minimum severance payment will be 2 weeks of the employees’ average salary.
Work and Residence Permits (Expatriates)
EWS can provide work permits for foreign employees to live and work in Belarus.
International employees wishing to live and work in Belarus will require a work visa and a Type D visa. The Type D visa is for long term stays (over 90 days). For those employees who will be in Belarus for less than 90 days, they would require a Type C visa. The Type C visa allows an employee to attend conferences, training and business meetings in Belarus.
To obtain a work permit an employee must submit the below listed documents to the Belarus embassy.
– A completed visa application form
– Proof of medical insurance
– A valid passport with 2 blank pages and at least 180 days validity
– A passport photo
– A certified copy of the work permit
– Proof of payment for the application
The employer in Belarus will also initiate the work permit application through the Department of Internal Affairs. The processing time for a work permit is 15 days. Once this is issued the employee can then apply for the Type D visa.