The Leninskiy District Court of Ufa, on the suit of the Bashkir prosecutor's office, found illegal the long-term motivation program for Bashneft management adopted in December 2015, the oil company said. The prosecutor's office challenged the legality of the two programs - "On the long-term motivation of Bashneft employees for 2015-2019" and "On the additional annual remuneration of the president of Bashneft for 2015-2017."
In the suit of the prosecutor's office it is noted that the payments envisaged by the program are "unreasonable", "are arbitrary", "testify to the discrimination of some workers against others". In addition, the prosecutor's office claims that the former management of Bashneft used powers "in order to obtain personal material benefits," the site of Bashneft affirms. The amount of additional remuneration to the participants of the program for 2016 was supposed to be over 2.2 billion rubles, the company said.
On the website of the Leninsky district court of Ufa there is a card of the claim of the prosecutor's office of Bashkiria to "Bashneft". The application was registered on May 29. On June 8, an interview was held, and yesterday, June 14, - the first hearing. Mention of the decision on the site there. Contact with the representatives of the court and the prosecutor's office of Bashkiria was not possible on Wednesday evening. Their colleague from Rosneft left Vedomosti's questions unanswered.
The motivation program, adopted in 2015, was to provide top managers with at least 50% of their total income, and average managers - at least 33%. Total payments for 2015 amounted to 1.7 billion rubles, including 496 million went to the board and vice-presidents, follows from the reports of Bashneft.
A total of several hundred people fell under the remuneration program, of which only 10 are top managers, says one of the company's former top managers, who participated in the rewards program. Another former top manager, who also participated in the program, specified that the program involved 300-400 people. Approximately 200 participants of the program became shareholders of Bashneft, says one of Vedomosti's interlocutors. Half of the payments management had to spend on the purchase of preferred shares. About 2.7% of preferred shares of Bashneft were allocated to the remuneration program.
Will the Prosecutor's Office return all the money paid to managers, it is not known. But the grounds for this can be found, says Tertychny Agabalyan partner Ivan Tertychny. Under the Labor Code, wages that are excessively paid to an employee may be recovered from him if the court establishes the illegality of the employee's actions when it is received. But this rule applies only to those top managers who participated in the adoption of the provision on premiums and whose fault will be established by the court, the lawyer notes.
The law does not require the employee to return bonuses and other payments, says BMS Law Firm partner Denis Frolov. But if the staff has not yet received the money, then after the court decision they will not be able to get, the lawyer states.
With proposals to return paid awards or sell preferred shares bought by Bashneft to managers, no one has applied to managers, says the former top manager of the company.
Investors are unhappy
Investors negatively reacted to the news about the suit of the prosecutor's office. Ordinary shares of Bashneft on Wednesday fell 8.18%, and preferred shares - 2.86%, on the whole, the company's capitalization fell by 6.6% to 374.6 billion rubles, while the MICEX index fell by 1.23 %.