Rosstat has calculated how many workers in large and medium-sized enterprises in the country with salaries at or below the minimum wage. At first glance, the figure does not look so impressive – less than 700 thousand. However, this is the very case when the big is reflected in the small: if you take the service sector, small business, individual entrepreneurs, the share of wages there is two or three times more than the minimum wage than in the public sector.
According to Rosstat, there are 75.1 million citizens of working age in Russia, of which 71.2 million work. About 33 million are employed at large and medium-sized enterprises, including 27.5 million who work a full working month. 689.8 thousand receive the “minimum wage” – this is 2.5% of 33 million. Of these, as reported in the department, 1.4% were part-time employees, 0.9% – receiving a salary at the minimum wage level, and 0, 2% falls on other cases, including possible violations of the law.
As explained by Rosstat, the work of people who have worked a full working month and the daily norm of working hours, by definition, cannot be paid below the minimum wage. Part-time persons who combine work activities with several employers have been left out of this rule. They were taken into account only in the organization where they are included in the payroll. At the same time, their total wages may exceed the minimum wage, which in 2021 amounts to 42% of the median salary, or 12,792 rubles.
“The figure announced by the official statistics department – about 700 thousand – seems to be quite adequate,” said Pavel Kudyukin, a member of the Council of the Confederation of Labor of Russia. – After all, we are talking about only one segment of the economy – “qualified” organizations, if we recall the pre-revolutionary term. A much larger number of people with salaries below the minimum wage are employed in small businesses or in the informal sector. In general, each office takes into account only the money that it pays to its employees.
Of course, she cannot know how much a person receives in other places (and where exactly). For example, a cleaning lady belongs to this category: she washed the floors for two hours in one organization, two hours in another, and the same amount in a third. ”
According to Kudyukin, legislation related to minimum wages can be observed where the employer’s income is at least controlled. The gray, and even more so the shadow sector, completely falls out of this control zone. Nobody knows whether the minimum wage is paid there or not. Plus, there are a great many structures in the country where formally a person is provided with a salary at a level not lower than the minimum wage (so that the tax service does not bother), and the main share is given out according to some gray schemes or “in an envelope”.
It remains a mass phenomenon in our country, no matter what the authorities say about the whitewashing of the economy.
“The given figure does not look large-scale,” says Anna Bodrova, senior analyst at IAC Alpari. – With a high degree of probability, we can assume that the real figure is at least twice as high, that is, about 1.3 million people. If a person is employed on a part-time basis or at half the rate, then the amount of his official salary is naturally reduced, if we are talking specifically about the minimum wage.
This is practiced in not the most successful city-forming enterprises of the country, as well as in relation to working people of retirement age. ”
Rosstat is physically unable to take into account all forms of gray employment existing in Russia. Take, for example, the employees of “home” call centers (crooks do not count), who offer medical services to citizens by phone. They do not work for free, but their income does not fall into the official statistics, says Sergei Smirnov, Doctor of Economics.
As for the observance of the norms related to the minimum wage, then, according to the interlocutor of “MK”, the controlling capabilities of the state are limited. In principle, it can monitor the situation in budgetary organizations. But even 8-10 years ago, in domestic academic institutions, suffering from an acute lack of funding, many employees were transferred to part-time employment, rates were introduced for them at 0.25, 0.5, and even 0.1 of the salary.
The commercial sector is having an even harder time today, especially in a pandemic. falling real incomes of the population, decreasing consumer demand for goods and services. Where to get money for salaries for staff if there is no flow of funds? If the economy grows, then it will be possible to pay people two or three minimum wages and more, sums up Smirnov.