- Overview: Belarus
- Global HR Compliance
- Global PEO and payroll
- Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
- Expand without a company set up
- Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
Global HR Compliance in Belarus
Whether hiring for your own company or for your clients, legal, tax and HR compliance is critical for doing business in Belarus. Belarusian business, labor and tax laws are continually being updated to protect the country’s populace and preserve its sovereignty. As a global enterprise, you’ll have to maintain full compliance with them yourself while expanding into the country’s market which is completely new for you. Or you can outsource your global hiring and HR needs with Acumen International to avoid non-compliance risks in the country.
Operating without forming a legal in-country business entity in Belarus can pose compliance challenges for your company, putting you at risk of costly fines, penalties and legal troubles. Acumen International takes the guesswork out of HR compliance with our tailored PEO (aka EOR) solution for compliantly engaging and payrolling your remote workforce in Belarus, without legal entity formation on your side.
Our HR solutions are designed to facilitate your in-country business operations while keeping your company compliant with new Belarusian laws and regulations, with the added benefits of support from our team of global experts.
As your one-stop-shop global partner, Acumen International can help you to navigate the complexities and nuances of Belarusian labor legislation. We handle compliant on-boarding of your international workers, manage their payroll, benefits and taxes, and make sure they remain compliant with changing local regulations, all on your company’s behalf.
Enjoy the full spectrum of Acumen’s HR solutions and receive a single monthly invoice, with full assurance that your workforce is fully compliant with Belarusian labor laws.
How to Hire Your Global Workforce in Belarus
When expanding your business operations to Belarus, the laws and regulations of your home country may not apply to the hiring and management of your overseas staff. Things can get even more complicated if you are hiring in multiple locations around the globe. Lack of in-country expertise can be a major hurdle that slows down your business operations and creates mounds of paperwork for your HR team.
Acumen International can guide you through the nuances of hiring, compensating and terminating global talent compliantly in Belarus and 190 countries around the world, with minimal compliance risks. Our team of international experts works around the clock to provide you with the latest updates and information about labor legislation in the countries where you do business.
Outsourcing Your International HR Needs in Belarus
Acumen’s tailored solution for compliantly engaging and payrolling your remote workforce lets you outsource your international HR needs. Our global employment and HR compliance (PEO) solution is designed especially for companies like yours, to help you hire global talent in full legal compliance while you grow your business in Belarus.
Our HR compliance services let you quickly hire both local and expatriate workers in Belarus without establishing a legal in-country business entity, giving you the freedom to test the waters prior to setting up your own company.
Acumen International is at the forefront of the pandemic, helping global businesses to navigate the challenges and market unrest caused by COVID-19 in Belarus and 190 other countries. We invite you to consult with our international experts for information on which areas and procedures have been severely impacted or changed, such as visa and travel restrictions, and immigration procedures for your expat workers in Belarus. We can advise you about immigration regulations, health checks and vaccination policies for your expat team.
Operating in Belarus through Own Entity vs Third-Party PEO Employment
Under Belarusian law, there are two options for foreign companies who want to establish a permanent business entity and directly engage employees in-country:
- Establish your own company in accordance with all guidelines and regulations set forth by the Belarusian government.
- Establish a representative office in Belarus.
Before making the costly decision to establish a business entity in Belarus, it is important to bear in mind that shutting down business operations after establishing a legal business entity can be fraught with obstacles, posing greater challenges and resulting in higher costs than the initial setup.
Acumen International offers a third, stress-free alternative to an own company formation in Belarus. Our solution will save you money while protecting your company from non-compliance risks.
Our dedicated global HR team works around the clock to monitor changes in HR compliance requirements, in 190 countries world-wide. Our system is constantly updated to keep our international clients abreast of legislative changes that can potentially impact them. We never miss a beat in keeping your Belarusian talent fully compliant.
Trust us to secure your company from possible non-compliance risks.
To get Acumen’s HR solutions, ask us
How to Hire and Fire a Global Workforce in Belarus
Building your workforce completely around independent contractors is generally a short-term strategy. Consider building a hybrid team of contractors and full time employees, to ensure your company’s long-term stability. By doing so, you can benefit from the specific expertise of independent workers while enjoying the reliability of a full-time team.
PEO helps you build and manage your hybrid workforce internationally. A hybrid sales team, for example, would consist of both independent (commission-based) agents/contractors and (salaried) employees. Next step – transfer top performers into full-time employees and get rid of contractors given the risks. Acumen’s PEO can help you to retain your current top personnel by offering employee status to them while payrolling them globally in full compliance with local labor laws.
When offering the employee status to your selected candidates in Belarus, be sure to familiarize yourself with Belarusian employment laws and carefully study the existing employment agreement types in the country.
Employment relationships in Belarus are governed by the 1999 Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus. In 2020, 10 major amendments along with 200+ minor changes were made to the Belarusian labor code, to meet the demands of a rapidly changing global business landscape. Technological innovations and global health concerns played a role in the amendments.
To find the very best talent to staff your Belarus business, you should leverage all local media to advertise open positions, including print, airwaves and online resources. Language and communication barriers, along with out-of-sync time zones, can pose challenges for talent recruitment. Acumen can support you with native Russian speakers in synchronous time zones, to ensure that all communications are clear and timely.
! Important to note!
Talent recruitment is not a key service of Acumen International, but we are happy to provide recruitment and sourcing services for your candidates as an on-demand service when you request subsequent compliant hiring of your selected staff.
1. Select the Appropriate Employment Agreement Type
It is critical to educate yourself about the various types of employment agreements in Belarus, and the regulations that govern them.
Employment agreements in Belarus may be fixed (short-term) or indefinite (long-term permanent).
Fixed-term employment contracts cannot exceed 5 years. When a fixed term is not stipulated in an employment agreement, the contract is deemed indefinite. If renewed, fixed term agreements must be extended for at least 3 years unless the employee gives written consent to a shorter extension period.
Fixed-term contracts, with the exception of independent contractor agreements, may be concluded for an indefinite period when the nature of the job offered or conditions for its performance cannot be precisely determined.
2. Learn about Employment Agreements
Employment agreements must be in writing and consist of two copies. Or they may be electronic documents signed digitally by both parties. Each page and any attachments must be numbered and signed by both employee and employer. The general format of an employment agreement should be approved by the Government of Belarus or by a duly authorized body.
Employment agreements must contain the following mandatory inclusions:
- Information about the employee and employer
- Workplace and location details
- Job title and functions that correspond with government approved qualification guidelines
- Basic rights and obligations of employee and employer
- Terms of the employment agreement (for fixed-term employment)
- Work schedule and time off
- Employee wages and compensation
In addition, an employment agreement may stipulate probationary periods and compulsory work requirements when training is provided at the employer’s expense. Employment contracts must be in either the Russian or Belarusian language.
A probationary period may be stipulated in the employment agreement to test the candidate’s skills and abilities, and to determine if they are a good fit for the position. Employees under 18 years of age, disabled persons and students hired within two years of graduation are not subject to probation. A probationary period may not exceed three months.
Recent changes in the Belarusian labor code can profoundly impact the terms of your employment agreement:
- Remote workers are now entitled to receive the same paid vacation, holidays and perks granted to regular employees. General rules about work hours, vacations, disciplinary sanctions and business trips remain applicable.
- Under Belarusian law, minimum and maximum terms of employment are 1 year and 5 five years respectively. In the past, employers often extended employment contracts on a year-to-year basis. Under the newest amendments, employment contracts must be extended for a minimum of three years to ensure employee stability.
- New fathers are entitled to up to 14 days of paternity leave, to be used within the first five months of the child’s birth.
Our global HR team can advise you on additional nuances that impact the terms of employment agreements in Belarus.
3. Gather the Required Documents
Prior to onboarding your in-country job candidates, they must provide you with documentary evidence of their eligibility to work in Belarus. Mandatory documents include:
- Identity documents, including military registration documents
- A workbook of past employment history, with the exception of first-time hires and part-time workers
- A diploma or other credentials confirming adequate education and training appropriate for the job
- Referrals for certain categories of workers in accordance with the law
- Documentation of individual rehabilitation programs for disabled workers
- Declarations of income and property, insurance certificates, medical reports and other documents that confirm eligibility and the capacity for performing specific job duties.
Failure to provide required documentation nullifies the employee’s right to work. It is forbidden for employers to demand documents from a prospective worker that are not prescribed by law.
4. Learn about Employee Benefits and Contributions
There are certain mandatory benefits that employers must provide to employees by Belarusian law. They include:
- Social Security contributions of 6% of employee wages by the employer, matched by 1% contributed by employees.
- Pension Fund contributions of 28% of regular wages, matched by employee contributions of 1%.
- Minimum of 24 paid Vacation Days per year.
- Sick Leave paid compensation for illness, drawn from the Social Security Fund, consisting of 80% of average wages for the first 12 calendar days of illness and 100% for subsequent days.
- Paid Maternity Leave of 120 days, or 140 days if medical complications exist, or in the case of multiple births. New mothers are paid full wages for up to 126 days, but are allowed to take up to 3 years leave without pay.
In addition to mandatory benefits, employers can opt to provide voluntary benefits to key employees, to ensure retention and attract top performers.
Common voluntary benefits include:
- Supplemental health insurance for employees and family members
- Mental health support
- Accident insurance
- Healthy lifestyle programs
- Continuing education and professional development
- Life insurance
- Workplace perks such as free food and beverages
5. Employee Termination and Severance pay
Employment contracts can be terminated in Belarus under the following circumstances:
- If both parties are in mutual agreement to termination
- When the terms of the contract expire
- When either employer or employee initiate termination and they reach a mutual agreement
- When the employee is transferred to a new position within the company
- When the employee does not agree to relocate to another region with the employer
- When the employee disagrees with labor conditions, change in ownership or company reorganization
- When circumstances beyond the control of either party cause the position to be terminated
- At the end of a probationary period if the employee fails to satisfy the job requirements
- Employees can also be dismissed for certain misconduct and other grounds, as outlined by Belarusian labor laws
Severance payments are defined in the employment contract. They generally cover two weeks of the employee’s average salary. Early termination during the probationary period requires a minimum of 3 days’ notice.
Belarusian labor laws are designed to provide the most favorable conditions for Belarusian workers, and violations on the part of international employers can carry severe penalties.
Acumen International: Your HR Compliance Partner in Belarus
Partnering with Acumen International is a strategic business move for your company, to avoid possible non-compliance pitfalls in Belarus and in 190 countries around the globe. As your trusted partner for international expansion, we help you navigate the numerous in-country complexities that can arise surrounding on-boarding, payroll, and termination of your in-country workforce.
Expand your global operations into the Belarusian market, onboard your international talent, and manage them while remaining fully compliant with local regulations. Acumen’s HR solutions ensure that all your Belarusian legal and HR compliance obligations are met, so you can focus on growing your business.
Our expert global HR team is always ready to assist you, no matter what time zone you’re in. Contact us today as your №1 international partner, and learn how easy it can be to expand internationally with Acumen’s solid global HR compliance services.