MOSCOW, June 25 (RAPSI) - The Government Legislative Commission has approved a bill aimed at encouraging employers to pay their staff on time in the event of bankruptcy, the government said on its website on Monday.

The initiative was sponsored by the Labor Ministry to protect employees' rights in the event that their employer goes bankrupt. The bill gives former employees the right to initiate a bankruptcy case against the company, and includes unpaid wages in the list of insolvency signs. Also, according to the document, wage claims will be second in line in terms of priority for payment of the bankrupt company's debts.

"Claims for moral damage have been excluded from the first priority claims, while second priority claims have been grouped into three sub-lists - wages in the amount of no more than 30,000 rubles ($912) per employee per month; wage claims exceeding that amount; and royalties to be paid to individuals for products of their intellectual work," the commission reported.

The bill will be considered at a government meeting.

"The bill will encourage employers to pay their staff on time if there is a risk of bankruptcy and will help better meet their employees' wage claims if the company is recognized as bankrupt," the government said.