Sberbank engages prisoners in office work

Yet another way to save on labor

Sberbank is starting to employ prisoners. According to RBC, a joint project with the FSIN has been launched so far in one of the institutions in Novosibirsk. After evaluating the results, a decision will be made on its implementation in other regions of the country.


“The pilot project will engage the convicts whose imprisonment due to good behavior has been replaced with correctional labor. They move freely in the streets but they live in organized correctional centers,” Anatoly Popov, deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank, told reporters.

Later, representatives of FSIN specified that convicts are involved in labor under a service contract with the Penitentiary Service.

People caught for theft and child support non-payers are most often sentenced to correctional labour. Sberbank intends to entrust them with simple work with documentation in a separate office building, without access to the Internet and internal information systems of the bank, in order to avoid illegal use of data.

Within the framework of this project, a standard work schedule is set: 40 hours a week. Prisoners will be paid on the basis of the minimum wage (since January 1, 2020 it is 12,130 rubles) minus personal income tax, accommodation fees and payments made by the court in favor of the injured party, which usually amount to 5 to 20% of earnings. Also, the pilot project provides a bonus system for high performance.

The main goal of the project, according to Popov, is to solve the problem of employment for people who are in a difficult life situation. Helping convicts to earn money with honest labour, and not only hard physical labour, Sberbank contributes to their social adaptation in the future and creates new jobs.

However, if we recall the reports of massive reductions in Sberbank’s staff coming to the media almost every year, it’s hard not to suspect the representatives of the largest Russian bank in cunning implications. After all, the bank, by reducing the number of operators and middle managers and attracting people who are forced to work for pennies, receives considerable financial benefits.

In our opinion, it is profit, and not the proverbial social justice, that pushes large corporations to participate in such projects. The capitalist will pay the worker only as long as their labor is profitable, and they will always minimize the costs for hired labor in every way possible.