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Benefits and Entitlements Overview

Learn about mandatory and optional employee benefits in Belarus

Mandatory benefits

In Belarus, labor law mandates a comprehensive package of benefits for employees. These benefits are designed to ensure social security, provide paid time off, and compensate for work beyond standard hours. Employers are required by law to provide these benefits as part of the employment contract.

  • Annual Leave: Belarusian employees are entitled to a minimum of 24 days of paid annual leave each year.

  • Sick Leave: Employees receive paid sick leave during illness or injury. For the first 12 days, they are entitled to 80% of their average daily earnings, and 100% of their pay thereafter. The Social Security system administers these payments.

  • Public Holidays: Belarus observes numerous national holidays throughout the year. Employees are entitled to paid time off for these holidays.

  • Maternity Leave: New mothers are entitled to 126 days of paid maternity leave. This leave can be extended to 140 days in case of complications or multiple births. Additionally, mothers can take up to three years of unpaid leave while retaining their job.

  • Paternity Leave: Fathers are entitled to up to 14 days of unpaid paternity leave within the first five months of their child's birth.

Social Security Benefits

  • Pension: Employers contribute to a national pension plan on behalf of their employees. This plan provides retirement income for employees upon reaching retirement age.

  • Medical Care: Employees are entitled to state-funded healthcare through the national healthcare system.

  • Unemployment Benefits: The government provides unemployment benefits to eligible individuals who have lost their jobs.

Optional benefits

In Belarus, many employers offer additional perks beyond mandatory benefits to attract and retain top talent. These optional benefits can significantly enhance an employee's compensation package and create a more positive work environment.

Health and Wellness

  • Private Health Insurance: Some employers offer supplemental private health insurance for wider coverage and access to better facilities.
  • Accident Insurance: This benefit provides financial protection to employees in case of accidents resulting in injury or disability.
  • Wellness Programs: Companies might offer programs that promote healthy lifestyles, including gym memberships, fitness classes, or healthy food options at the workplace.

Financial Security

  • Voluntary Pension Insurance: A new system introduced in October 2022 allows employees to contribute to voluntary pension plans. Employers can incentivize participation by partially matching employee contributions.
  • Life Insurance: While less common, some employers may offer life insurance as a benefit.

Work-Life Balance and Well-being

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: This could include remote work options, flexible working hours, or compressed workweeks to help employees achieve a better work-life balance.
  • On-site Amenities: Companies may provide facilities like canteens, relaxation areas, or childcare facilities to enhance employee well-being and convenience.
  • Meal Subsidies or Vouchers: Employers might offer meal vouchers or discounts at restaurants or cafes to help with meal expenses.
  • Transportation Benefits: This could include subsidies for public transportation costs, company-provided shuttle services, or parking allowances.

Professional Development

  • Training and Development Programs: Companies may invest in employee development by offering training courses, workshops, or tuition reimbursement programs to enhance skills and qualifications.

Health insurance requirements

In Belarus, health insurance operates as a two-tier system. The primary system for Belarusian citizens and legal residents is the mandatory state-funded healthcare. This system provides basic medical coverage funded by social security contributions, including those made by employers.

For Employees

There is no requirement for employees to have private health insurance. All employees are entitled to basic healthcare coverage through the state-funded system.

For Employers

Employers are not obligated to provide private health insurance to their employees. However, offering private health insurance can be a valuable perk to attract and retain talent, especially for positions requiring frequent medical attention.

Foreign Citizens

Foreign citizens with temporary residence permits may be required to have private health insurance that meets minimum coverage standards set by the government. This requirement typically applies during the visa application process and may also be checked at border crossings.

While not mandatory for employment, some employers may offer private health insurance as an optional benefit. This can provide additional coverage beyond the state-funded system, such as access to private hospitals, a wider range of specialists, or shorter wait times for treatment.

Retirement plans

Belarus provides a two-tier retirement system for its citizens and legal residents. This system combines a state pension with a voluntary plan.

State Pension Plan

All Belarusian citizens and legal residents who reach retirement age qualify for the state pension. The retirement age is currently 63 years for men and 58 years for women. The state pension is funded through social security contributions made by both employers and employees. The amount of the state pension an individual receives depends on several factors, including age, work experience, average salary during their working years, and disability status. However, due to the nature of the calculation, the state pension often falls short of replacing an individual's pre-retirement income.

Voluntary Funded Pension Plan

Introduced in October 2022, this plan is open to all employees who are at least three years below the standard retirement age (62 for men and 58 for women as of 2022). Employees can contribute up to 10% of their gross salary on a pre-tax basis. There is no mandatory employer contribution. The benefits of this plan include tax-deductible contributions and the potential for higher retirement income. The portion of an employee's salary contributed to the voluntary plan is deducted from their taxable income, reducing their overall tax burden. Voluntary contributions allow individuals to accumulate additional savings that can translate to a higher overall retirement income when combined with the state pension.

The combination of the state pension and the voluntary plan provides Belarusians with options for planning their retirement. While the state pension offers a safety net, the voluntary plan allows individuals to take a more proactive approach to securing a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

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