Legal issue: the provision in question guarantees to the members of staff of the organizations belonging to the State or local governments who work in the Far North and similar localities a compensation of expenses for their return trip to the place of statutory leave. Does such guarantee extend also to persons working for private employers, and if not, whether such distinction is constitutional?
Ratio decidendi: the Court refused to deem the provision in question to be unconstitutional. All the same, the Court gave it a binding interpretation, according to which a private employer is encumbered with a duty – either within the system of social partnership or under an agreement with the employee - to establish the rules for such compensation in one of the forms envisaged by law. In so doing, real financial capacity of the employer should be taken into account, which should not, however, serve as a ground for the failure to establish the compensation or its unjustified reduction. To buttress this conclusion, the Court pointed out that in the Russian Federation as a social and rule-of-law state the exercise of entrepreneurial and another economic activities is connected with “social responsibility”, so that the legislator, when making such regulation, sought to achieve a balance of interests between the citizens working in the localities with adverse climate conditions, on the one hand, and their employers, on the other.
The Constitution says nothing about the social responsibility of entrepreneurs, the national goals should be pursued at the expense of the State and not of private business, and the negative effects of Northern climate upon human health have not been properly proved.
The State must not thrust on other owners and employers the duty to pay such compensation in the same amount without offering them corresponding guarantees from public budgets.