[Updated 3/24/23] The number one benefit for employees in Belarus is medical insurance to use in addition to compulsory state-funded healthcare because private medical insurance is expensive. When asked to rank three other common benefits in order of importance, the average employee in Belarus will respond with disability, death, and retirement.
Average employee benefit costs are approximately 64 BYN per month (equivalent to US$ 23).
Mandatory employee benefits in Belarus include paid time off, sick leave, pension, unemployment benefits, and medical care. Supplementary employee benefits include healthcare, accident insurance, psychological support, healthy lifestyle programs, education and development, and benefits that improve comfort and promote recreation. Life insurance is not a typical benefit in the country.
Mandatory Employee Benefits in Belarus
Paid Time Off
All employees with an employment agreement or contract are entitled to basic paid leave of at least 24 days.
The payment amount depends on the average salary and the number of vacation days. The employer makes payment.
In Belarus, the Fund of Social Protection of Population (FSPP) is formed from deductions from wages. This Fund pays sick leave.
The daily payment amount is calculated based on a percent of the average payment for the working day. However, some organizations have tax benefits (for example, residents of a high-tech park). In such companies, the daily payment is calculated as a percentage of the minimum wage per day for the country.
For example, in January 2023:
- The minimum wage is 554 BYN per month (approximately US$ 197),
- Making the average daily wage 26.01 BYN (only working days are taken into account with a five-day working week), or
- 18,91 BYN (all days in a month are considered, including non-working).
The payment amount also depends on the type of disease:
- For general illness or injury – For the first 12 days, the employee receives 80% of the average daily payment (or the minimum payment for the country per day), and for the following days, 100%.
- For pregnancy and childbirth – Care for a sick child up to 14 years old and a disabled child up to 18 years old. Payouts are 100% of the average daily employee payment (or from the national minimum daily payment).
The FSPP pays pensions. The retirement age for women in 2023 is 58 years; for men, it is 63. The amount of the pension depends on the following:
- Wages during the working age
- The minimum subsistence budget
The pension amount is formed from two components:
1) Minimum pension, which is, depending on age + 20% of the average salary in the country
2) Optional payment, which is formed by employment history, salary in the working-age period
In February 2023, the average pension was 670 BYN (approximately US$ 238). The minimum pension is 360.47 BYN (about US$ 128).
Social leave to care for a child up to 3 years old
The FSPP pays for this social leave.
Childcare leave can last for a maximum of 3 years. During this period, the child’s mother (or another family member on this leave) retains a workplace.
Monthly payments depend on the average salary in the country for the last quarter. The government, twice a year, in August and in February, recalculates this parameter.
The childcare leave payment for the first child is 35% of the average monthly salary in the country for the last quarter; for the second onward, it is 40%.
Thus, in February 2023, the monthly payment for the first child is 605.99 BYN (approximately 215 US dollars). For the second and subsequent child – 692.56 BYN (about 246 US dollars).
Belarus also supports the birth rate with a childbirth payment. This payment depends on the budget of the subsistence minimum, which is 10 subsistence minimums for the first child and 14 for the second and onward. In February 2023, the childbirth payment for the first child is 3 414,8 BYN (approximately US$ 1 214), and for the second, 4 780,72 BYN (about US$ 1 700).
Women registered at the clinic for pregnancy up to 12 weeks also have an additional benefit after childbirth, depending on the amount of one subsistence minimum; now, it is 341,48 BYN (about US$ 121).
The Republican budget pays unemployment benefits to unemployed citizens and has registered with the employment service.
The benefit amount is up to 2 basic units, 74 BYN (US$ 26) per month. It depends on the number of weeks of job searching and total work experience.
The unemployed, who have children under 14, a disabled child under 18 years, HIV positive child under 18, or suffering from AIDS have an additional 10% surcharge. In addition, unemployed people with three or more children or two or more disabled children have an additional 20% surcharge.
All citizens of the Republic of Belarus have free medical care in public health institutions. The government using the state budget, provides it.
Supplementary Employee Benefits
The employer, at its discretion, determines the list of additional benefits. Some companies limit themselves to mandatory payments and do not supplement the compensation package with perks. High-tech companies and foreign companies offer the most extensive compensation packages.
Health insurance support assists employees, if necessary, in the case of a health disorder, chronic disease, and its exacerbation or in case of an accident.
The insurance program must include outpatient care and can optionally include inpatient or emergency care, dental care, or medical treatment.
In addition, the insurance program can include ophthalmology care (vision correction), pregnancy and childbirth care, high-tech medical care, medical examination for early diagnosis of disease (cancer-protect program, complexes “men’s/women’s health,” etc.), and testing for COVID-19 (new).
- 100% payment by the employer
- Co-financing, for example, 50/50
- Payment by the employer for the basic program, while employees are encouraged to improve the package at their own expense
Options for insurance packages:
- A general program for all employees
- Individual programs depending on the position, and work experience
The programs are widely used in all industries and are used mainly by high-tech and foreign companies.
Voluntary medical insurance for family members allows an employee to attach a family member to the corporate medical program. Employees often pay the insurance cost on their own but at the corporate price. High-tech companies sometimes pay in full or use a co-financing system to insure employees’ children and spouses.
Medical care at the expense of the employer
- Provides free service in a medical center or several centers
- This option is based on cooperation agreements between the employer and medical centers. Employees can use most medical services and procedures at the company’s expense or a discount.
- This benefit is used much less often than health insurance support.
This provides for payment to an employee in the event of a temporary health disorder, disability, or death because of an accident or illness.
There are two possible programs:
- Classic (most popular) is used in case of insured events that occurred because of an accident (injury, bite, burn, etc.)
- Extended, which includes causing harm to life or health because of illness. This option package may contain ‘critical illness,’ which provides a cash payment to the employee when first diagnosed with a critical illness (cancer, heart attack, stroke, etc.).
These benefits are in demand in industries with a high degree of injury and among high-tech and foreign companies. Accident protection is often offered in conjunction with health insurance.
Employees in Belarus highly desire psychological support benefits, but they are rarely offered.
Psychological support programs help ensure employees’ psychological well-being, increase job satisfaction, and improve organizational behavior and productivity.
As a rule, the employer fully or partially funds these programs. Programs may include face-to-face consultations with a psychologist or psychotherapist, online consultations or webinars, and training in the company’s office.
Usually, the program includes 3-6 free face-to-face or online consultations. Employees who need further psychological support can pay for additional support themselves.
It is possible to give employees a discount for consultations with a psychologist or psychotherapist.
These programs are widely used among high-tech companies, especially those requiring prolonged sitting positions (office workers, programmers, etc.).
The most popular implementation options are:
- Full or partial payment by the employer for a season ticket to swimming pools, fitness, gyms, yoga classes, etc.
- Providing employees with discounts on subscriptions to sports complexes and swimming pools with partner sports clubs
- Organization of a gym and/or a place for meditation in the office
They can additionally include:
- Office doctor
- Massage room in the office
Education and Development
This benefit includes the full or partial payment of programs for improving professional knowledge and skills, soft skills training, language courses, and professional conferences.
Employers also offer training for employees’ children in educational centers or classes in sports venues. Some companies organize summer health holidays and various corporate events for children.
Payment can be 100% by the employer, co-financing with employees, or providing a discount.
Convenience and Comfort
Most high-tech companies prioritize creating an employee workplace that improves work efficiency. Companies also offer canteens and tearooms or provide discounts on restaurants and cafes.
Additional options also include telephone compensation, compensation for transport costs, and parking.
Recreation and Entertainment
This benefit includes organizing corporate events and travel (rare to use).
Other Corporate Programs
- Pension insurance program (rare to use). This includes the formation of capital by the employer to finance an increase in the state pension. Pension insurance is subject to tax incentives that allow additional motivation for employees to save while optimizing the tax base. Private companies rarely use such programs.
- Life insurance (rare to use). In this case, the employer pays premiums to the insurance company, which forms a personal account for the employee. At the end of the insurance period, the employee receives payments. If an employee dies, the family receives payments.
- Discount programs. This includes discounts on educational centers, sports clubs, medical centers, etc.
- A home loan (rare to use).
Related Government Websites
This information about mandatory and supplemental employee benefits in Belarus comes from Asinta’s Central and Eastern European Partner, the GrECo Group.