State Duma deputies intend to reform the system of hiring foreign workers in Russian regions, the Izvestia writes.
The authors of the amendments to the law, First Deputy Chairman of the Duma Defense Committee Sergei Zhigarev (LDPR) and committee member Alexei Zhuravlev (United Russia), believe the present practice of job quotas for foreigners is inefficient, as it does not take real needs in regions into account. They propose to introduce an index of shortage of own labor resources.
According to the Rosstat federal statistics agency's data cited by the authors in the explanatory note to the draft law, the needs for workers are much lower than the number of unemployed people in all Russian regions, except Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Chukotka Autonomous Area. Practically all over the country, there are possibilities to make up for the shortage of working hands with internal resources, without migrant workers. The government sets quotas for the number of jobs for foreigners without taking into consideration the current situation in regions, with quotas often considerably exceeding the real needs. The present system is absolutely inefficient.
Legislators believe the often-heard argument that the quality of local labor resources does not meet employers' requirements also does not hold water. Most of the jobs in the quota do not require education higher than special vocational training. Meanwhile, according to Rosstat, 67.8% of unemployed Russian women and 73.2% of men have some working experience and can be employed.
Lawmakers propose to introduce a labor shortage index calculated for each region, a ratio of the shortage of workers to the number of unemployed who have working experience. Only when the result is equal or exceeds 100%, that is when the region cannot make up for the shortage of workers with own resources, a quota for migrant workers may be granted. According to the formula, such a quota may be assigned only for Moscow, whose labor resource shortage is 135%.
Deputies also suggest cancelling work permits for foreigners after the first violation of the migration law, but not only after a repeated violation, as at present, and setting the maximum percentage of foreigners in companies in Moscow and St. Petersburg at 50%.