New laws affect cleaning

21st of September 2012
New laws affect cleaning

Oleg Popov at Cristanval cleaning company in Russia updates us on new immigration laws.

According to statistics, arrivals from neighbouring countries commit tens of thousands of crimes within Russia. And each year this number increases by 10 per cent. Primarily, the arrivals commit burglaries and deal in narcotics. The most serious indicators are in the category of serious and aggravated crimes. For example in Moscow new arrivals commit up to 80 per cent of all robberies, burglaries, and murders.

To correct this situation, Russian president Vladimir Putin directed the Federal Immigration Service (FMS) to develop legislation that would strengthen the criminal and administrative responsibility for violation of immigration law.

So as to bring order, several items of legislation have already been developed that are passing through the consultative process. There are many suggestions on introducing addenda to the Criminal Codex. In particular, the term of imprisonment has been increased from two to five years for crimes associated with illegal immigration. And if there are aggravating circumstances, the term increases to 10 years.

The authors of the legislation have suggested introducing modifications to certain articles of the RF Codex regarding administrative violations of law. Thus, in particular, the administrative responsibility of employers who attract foreign citizens to work for violation of law, including illegal immigrants, is strengthened. Besides the rest, the rules for temporary registration within the RF are tightened up.

Already within the Moscow criminal investigation department there are subdivisions engaged in the battle against the organisation of illegal immigration. There will be a total of 71 police in the city to deal with illegal immigrants.

According to data from the FMS, every year between three and five million labour migrants are working unlawfully in Russia. In the cleaning industry, around 50 per cent of workers are from CIS countries. It has been difficult to verify the validity of all documents at the stage of acceptance for work, and especially to verify the person has not had problems with Russian law.

As a rule, the internal security service will verify new workers within the first month. But if during this period the verifying agencies discover a migrant with invalidly formulated documents, the fine per person is on the order of 20,000 euros. As the law is tightened fines may increase, along with risks to cleaning firms.

In addition, since June of this year the company employing cleaning services has been forced to accept administrative responsibility for violation of immigration law, along with the cleaning company on whose staff these people are found. Already a number of our clients insist that only RF citizens do  the cleaning. This will result in an increase in the cost of the contract, and could lead to an increase in the prices for goods and services.

In our experience, the local population does not wish to take entry-level work positions. In large cities, even increasing wages do not persuade local inhabitants. Ever more migrants will try to obtain Russian citizenship and be anchored in Russian cities. Undoubtedly, tightening the law will permit disciplining both foreign workers and employers.

But for cleaning companies, the period of 'perestroika' to new rules will be complex, and there may arise difficulties in maintaining a workable set of staff responsible for all the strict standards of law, especially those who have experience in cleaning work.


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