If an employer has lost his work record, what should he do?

What to do if your work book is lost

The book on labor, by virtue of Article 66 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, is the main document that confirms not only the fact of labor activity, but also work experience in a certain field.
Based on this form, the worker can count on a bonus for length of service, as well as receiving some benefits. The book will also serve as confirmation of the work path already completed in order to obtain a pension benefit in one’s declining years and, possibly, to be awarded the honorary title of Veteran of Labor. An online pension calculator will help you. Taking into account the variety of functions of the labor book, as well as its role, Resolution of the Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation No. 69 approved the Instructions for maintaining a document, which is filled out taking into account the specified legislative act. The procedure for maintaining books is regulated by the norms of Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 225, which provides for book forms, as well as inserts for it.

PP No. 225 and PM RF No. 69 and the procedure for restoring the work book, in particular, issuing a duplicate, were approved. Thus, paragraph 31 states that if a document is lost, the employee must, within 15 days, apply to his last place of employment with an application to draw up a new form with the entries previously contained in it.

Important! If an employee has lost his work record book, the former employer does not have the right to refuse assistance in restoring lost data and obtaining a duplicate.

Why does this form of employment exist?

The relationship between the employer and its employees is regulated by the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, as well as other applicable regulations.
At first glance, it may seem that the need to conclude an employment contract is obvious. Working without registration can be beneficial for both the employer and his employees.

Here's why it might be attractive to some entrepreneurs:

  • An entrepreneur does not pay taxes and due to this he is able to pay a large amount of wages.
  • Since the person is not officially employed, the lack of the necessary work permit can be ignored.
  • The employee cannot complain about a violation of his rights, since documents about his employment have not been drawn up.
  • In case of injury, illness, pregnancy and birth of a child, the director is not required to pay anything.
  • He can fire an employee he doesn’t like without thinking about how to do it legally.
  • Leave may be granted at such times and for such duration as is convenient for the employer.

In some cases, employees may prefer the absence of an employment contract:

  1. When looking for a job, you can consider additional vacancies with informal employment.
  2. Higher wages due to tax evasion.
  3. There may be a situation where it is difficult to find another job in this area.

The reasons given here show that work without registration is a violation of the law and entails serious liability. In addition, work without registration violates the rights of such employees and deprives them of the opportunity to protect themselves from abuse.

For example, this is how it is expressed:

  1. In this case, the issue of salary payment is resolved in accordance with the honesty and integrity of the boss. If he keeps his word, then there should be no problems with receiving payments. In addition, a situation is possible when the immediate boss does not pay the money himself, but only transfers it through him. In this case, he has the opportunity to keep part of the amount for himself.
  2. While a worker is young, thinking about earning a pension does not seem important. If he worked without registration, then he will have less insurance experience than he could have had with official registration. If he does not reach the required duration, he will only have a social pension in his old age.
  3. When a person becomes ill, has an exacerbation of a chronic disease, or experiences an injury, he needs to be given time to heal. When working without registration, he cannot count on this. Either he will have to combine work with treatment, or he risks losing his unofficial job during his absence.

When an employee is dismissed, labor legislation establishes certain rights. Among them may be:

  1. Work after the decision to dismiss has been made. This is important in cases where there is a layoff due to staff reduction.
  2. Financial assistance upon dismissal. It also exists, although not for all dismissal options. In case of official employment, the collective agreement may provide for additional payments.
  3. Help that can be obtained at the labor exchange. Sometimes these are payments, and sometimes assistance for many months. It's not that big (it has a legal upper limit), but it's still quite significant.
  4. For socially vulnerable categories of the population, additional benefits may be provided when working. They can be intended for minors, pregnant women, young mothers, and the disabled. With unofficial employment there is none of this.
  5. There is the possibility of such a tragic situation when an employee suffers an injury or occupational disease on such a job. The unofficial employer is not responsible for this in any way. When officially employed, such an employee has the right to count on state protection.
  6. In some professions, proven work experience is important for career advancement. Without it, it’s difficult to count on career growth. With such employment, experience will not accumulate.
  7. If there is a need to obtain a mortgage loan to improve their living conditions, the bank will need proof that this citizen is able to repay the loan received. In this situation, there is no way to either confirm your income or prove that the mortgage applicant has a permanent job.
  8. A similar situation occurs when receiving any credit services. Those that are available in this situation, as a rule, involve a high cost of credit.
  9. If you need to go on business trips, payment for tickets, accommodation and current expenses associated with the performance of production functions is not guaranteed. It will be determined by the personal qualities of the leader and his financial situation.
  10. If there is a need to carry out overtime work, the employee can hardly refuse the boss, since employment in such cases significantly depends on his attitude.

We suggest you read: Work on the go, employment contract.
Sooner or later, inspectors will come to such a company and the entrepreneur will have to bear responsibility for violations. And it will be good for him if it is not criminal, but is limited only to the payment of debts, fines and penalties.

How to restore a work record

In pursuance of the norms of the PM of the Russian Federation No. 69, all entries in the labor book are made on the basis of administrative acts issued by the employer. Thus, admission, transfer and dismissal are reflected in the book in full accordance with previously issued orders. These documents refer to personnel forms, the shelf life of which is 75 years.

Companies also keep personalized records of employees and submit a monthly contribution report to the pension fund, thereby confirming their right to a pension for a certain period. Moreover, if the company is liquidated, all documentation, starting from economic calculations and ending with personnel records, is transferred to the territorial branch of the state archive.

Thus, if your work book is lost, you can:

  • contact all employers with a request to issue duplicate orders;
  • send a request to the Pension Fund about the periods for deduction of contributions;
  • visit the archive to obtain duplicate orders or certificates about periods of work in individual institutions.

Important! Under Article 62 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, an employee has the right to request any copy of a document related to his work activity, even from a former employer. Moreover, by virtue of this norm, the company is obliged to satisfy the citizen’s request and issue duplicates no later than 3 working days.

If information about the former employer has not been preserved, which is important for enterprises of the post-Soviet period, the citizen has one more option: going to court to establish a legal fact. As grounds for confirming the period of work, all available documents or the testimony of two witnesses from among former employees can be presented.

What the law says

It happens that after an employer has lost a work book, the issuance of a duplicate is delayed for some reason, although it must be issued to the employee no later than 15 days from the date he wrote the application. In this case, the employee has the right to apply to the courts to demand financial compensation (Article 234 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation). Such compensation, but for causing moral damage, is also provided in cases of untimely issuance of a work book (Article 237 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation).

The employer is responsible not only for the safety of documents, but also personal information of employees (Chapter 14 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation).

If the employer fails to comply with or violates the rules for the protection of personal data, he faces punishment in accordance with the current administrative (fine) or even criminal law, up to arrest for up to 6 months (Article 137 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

If the employer has lost his work book

In pursuance of the norms of Chapter VI of PP No. 225, work books are kept by the employer.
An authorized employee is responsible for maintaining and maintaining the forms. If the book is lost due to the fault of the company, the responsibility for restoring the document rests with it in accordance with the norms of Chapter III of PP No. 225. In particular, by virtue of clause 34, in case of mass loss of books due to a man-made or natural disaster, a special commission is created, which includes representatives of self-government bodies. All documents available to employees are accepted for accounting:

  • union cards;
  • certificates;
  • index cards;
  • payslips.

The commission’s powers also include issuing requests to obtain information from the injured employee’s previous employers. Based on the results of the review, an act is drawn up, which serves as the basis for issuing a duplicate of the work book in a restored version.

Important! A copy of a work book cannot be the basis for issuing a duplicate. But the data can be used to send official requests to the enterprises reflected in the copies.

Special cases

There are several legal opportunities for cooperation without making entries in the work book. Let's list them all, then consider each in detail:

  • part-time job;
  • employer – an individual who is not an individual entrepreneur;
  • signing a civil contract.

The work book is kept in the personnel department at the main place of duty. Therefore, when working part-time, a contract is signed, and entries in the document about professional activities do not need to be made. But at the request of the specialist himself, the record of part-time employment can be filled out by the main employer on the basis of a supporting document - an employment agreement.

If the employer is an individual who does not have the status of an entrepreneur, then he does not have the right to make any entries in the labor record. In this case, the relationship is secured by a signed agreement, the conclusion of which must be notified to the local government authorities at the place of registration.

We invite you to read: Complaint to the prosecutor's office against an employer: sample application and rules for drawing up

And the third option is employment without a work book under a civil law contract. Such contracts are usually concluded for temporary or seasonal work, or for the implementation of a specific project or task. Their validity period is limited. Once one is completed, the next one can be completed if necessary.

How to register a lost work book

A new work book to replace the lost one is not issued within the framework of the norms of PP No. 225. However, if desired, the employee can apply for it independently, especially if there were only a few previous places of work. So, a citizen can buy a blank form in a bookstore and gradually visit their previous places of work with a request to make records of hiring and dismissal.

The advantage of such a step is the fact that each entry will be complete and certified by the wet seal of the company, which will prevent questions about the reliability of the information entered already in the process of registering a pension. If there were a lot of jobs, as well as employers, and the total length of service was quite impressive, it will be quite difficult to restore the book in its previous form, so it is advisable to seek help at your last place of work.


If the fact of work without registration is proven, then the liability will be as follows:

  • A legal entity may be subject to a fine, the amount of which can reach 100 thousand rubles.
  • Responsible officials will also receive a fine of up to 20 thousand rubles.

In some cases, an enterprise may be forced to compensate officially unpaid wages for the entire period of actual employment.

There is also tax liability. The fact is that with such registration of employees, there is evasion of not only income tax, but also payments to social funds.

We invite you to read: How to audit employment contracts

How to fill it with data

A work book to replace a lost one can be issued only on the basis of an application from the employee or an act drawn up by the commission regarding damage to the document, which is why at the initial stage of restoring lost data, the specified documents are drawn up. The next step is to issue a duplicate in accordance with the norms of Chapter III of PP No. 225.

However, even if there are all orders on hiring and dismissal from previous employers, in pursuance of clause 32, a record of the total length of service before joining the current one is made in the duplicate. In this case, the total length of service is summarized only on the basis of the data presented without indicating the names of positions and names of enterprises.

The next entry is made in accordance with the Instructions, that is, completely reflecting the order number and affixing a wet stamp. Also on the title page of the book about labor there is a stamp: “Duplicate”.

Important! If a duplicate of the work book is lost, the records are restored in the same manner as described above. That is, all copies must be obtained again and you must contact your last employer to obtain the document.


If the work record book is lost, the employer issues a duplicate document based on the employee’s application.
The employer is obliged to assist him in collecting documents to confirm his work experience. An employee who is not satisfied with the employer’s assistance in restoring the book or other actions of the company that lost the document has the right to recover moral compensation from the employer. The loss of a work book by a company is a reason for the application of penalties to it under the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation. You can find more complete information on the topic in ConsultantPlus. Free trial access to the system for 2 days.

Who should be involved in labor restoration?

Restoring a book is a complex procedure.

As mentioned above, the restoration of a lost or damaged document is always carried out by the one who allowed it. That is, if an employee spilled coffee or tea on a document personally, then he is responsible for restoring it.

If damage or loss occurred due to the fault of a personnel employee, manager or other employee, then the employing company, represented by the director or the main founder, is responsible for restoring the book.

In addition, before you start restoring your work record, you should carefully think about where it might have been lost. It often happens that after a document is restored, the loss is found some time later.

For example, it was taken by another employee without warning, it accidentally ended up with other documents, or the employee had it and he forgot about it.

The labor restoration procedure is a rather complex process, and it is worth resorting to only if all other measures to search or restore the document have failed.

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