Childcare benefit in case of part-time work

By Nataliya Lukyanenko, Internal auditor

Many questions were raised in 2017 about the deduction of benefits for care of children up to the age of 1.5 years in case of part-time work. Although the Russian Supreme Court rendered a ruling on this matter already in July of this year (Ruling No. 307-KG17-1728 dated July 18, 2017), a deleterious practice has appeared recently at the Social Insurance Fund. The findings of field audits conducted in 2017 indeed show that the Social Insurance Fund did not deduct the benefits for many companies if working hours were not reduced sufficiently.

Following the Resolution of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 18 July 2017 No. 307-КГ17-1728, the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation has changed its approach with regard to the period of the time sufficient for the purposes of childcare and therefore necessary for the retaining of the right to receive childcare allowance (Section 256 of the Labour Code of the Russian Federation).

Pursuant to the position of the Court contained in the said Resolution, reducing of the working time by a period of several minutes per day is not sufficient for the purposes of childcare and, therefore, does not entitle an employee to receive the allowance.
Payment of childcare allowance in a situation where a working day is reduced by a period of time not sufficient for providing adequate child care is regarded not as compensation for a loss of salary but as additional payment at the expense of the Social Insurance Fund, which, according to the Court, leads to the abuse of law.

To avoid disputes with the Social Insurance Fund, it is not recommended to pay childcare allowance if the time of work of an employee, who is on childcare leave up to one and a half years, is reduced by any insignificant period of time.

It is recommended that:

  • The working time of the employees on childcare leave is 6 hours per day or 30 hours per week.
  • The working day of the said employees is reduced by at least 2 hours per day in order to retain the right to receive childcare allowance.
  • To establish the working day equal to 0.75 percent of a full day of work.
  • In order to reduce the risk of the refusal of the compensation of childcare allowance, it is additionally recommended to apply to the respective territorial branches of the Social Insurance Fund in writing for clarification of the question as to what period of time is sufficient for childcare for a working employee for the purposes of retaining the right to receive childcare allowance.