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On 7 October 2021, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation published Judgement No. 43-П/2021 adopted in accordance with Article 47.1 of the Federal Constitutional Law “On the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation”
On 7 October 2021, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation prohibited discriminatory payment for the work of cultural workers.
The case on the review of constitutionality of Article 157, part five of the Labour Code of the Russian Federation was considered in connection with the complaint of citizen L.Minina. The Judgement is based on the previously expressed legal positions of the Court.

Factual Background
L.Minina, who is a principal performer in Udmurtia State Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after P.Chaykovskiy, works under the labour contract since 1 January 2001. Since she was not engaged in plays or rehearsals during 16 October – 31 December 2019, the theatre director issued the order recalculating her wage, as well as wages of several other theatrical workers. The wages were diminished, having been counted on the basis of two-thirds of salary. L.Minina challenged this decision in courts, which refused her claims referring to Article 157, part five of the Labour Code. The applicant points out that the challenged provision does not establish guarantees of payment for creative workers during the period when they are not engaged in theatrical plays, and therefore allows arbitrary diminishing of wages by the employer.

Position of the Court
The labour function of principal performer in a theatre is not limited to participation in rehearsals or plays. While not engaged in the creative process, performers in fact continue carrying out their duties by honing their skills and participating in other theatrical events. This is why the legislator specially indicated that non-engagement in plays must not be qualified as idleness, and allowed the employers to establish amount of payment during such period in collective and labour agreements or local normative acts. Yet, the legislator did not establish the minimum wage for such scenario. Evidently, there is a lacuna in legal regulation, manifesting itself in the lack of indication as to minimum wage for a period when a cultural worker is not engaged in rehearsal process or plays.
Therefore, Article 157, part five of the Labour Code is not in conformity with the Constitution. The judicial decisions in the case of L.Minina shall be subject to review on the basis of new regulation that must be urgently adopted by the federal legislator

Press Service of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

07 October 2021

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