Kazakhstan: Recent Changes In The Republic Of Kazakhstan Labor Legislation

In the first half of 2018, a number of amendments to the Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan were introduced by the laws on amendments to the legislative acts on employment and migration issues1, entrepreneurial activities2, as well as social welfare3. Below we present to your attention a brief overview of the most significant changes in the labor legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

  1. Effective from April 29, 2018 it is possible to employ part-time medical workers engaged in heavy work, work with harmful and/or hazardous working conditions4. Previously, there was no such exception for medical workers.
  2. It is now defined when a notice of termination of the employment contract with an employee who has reached retirement age must be made. Specifically, such notice must be sent to such employee after he/she has reached retirement age5
  3. New rules of extending the term of collective agreements have been introduced. Now, in the event of the expiry of a collective agreement, it is deemed extended until the conclusion of a new collective agreement, but for no more than a period of up to one year. In this case, an extension is allowed provided that before the expiration of its term, at least one of the parties to a collective agreement proposes to conclude a new collective agreement. In addition, the parties may provide in a collective agreement for its extension before the date of conclusion of a new collective agreement without limiting the period specified above6.
  4. Effective from April 29, 2018 a compulsory post-shift medical examination has been canceled for employees engaged in works related to increased danger, machinery and mechanisms. Accordingly, the employer and the employee are exempted from respective duties to conduct and undergo a post-shift medical examination7
  5. Effective from June 8, 2018 the types of checks by state authorities have been reduced. In particular, Article 144 of the RK Entrepreneurial Code provides for only two types of checks:

a. Checks conducted in accordance with a special procedure aimed at prevention and/or elimination of immediate threat to the life and health of a human being, the environment, the lawful interests of individuals and legal entities as well as the State

b. Unscheduled inspections appointed based on particular facts and circumstances and for specific reasons envisaged in the RK Entrepreneurial Code Code.

Occasional checks (previously conducted based on results of the analysis of accounts and other forms of control) have been excluded, and the division of checks into complex and thematic has been abolished8.  

The powers of the state labor inspectors related to the conduct of checks has been changed accordingly. Effective from 8 June 2018 the state labor inspectors have no right to seize for analysis samples of special clothes, materials and substances used, and to exercise general control over the completeness and reliability of the employer's internal control of labor safety and labor protection9

In addition, Article 197 is completely excluded from the Labor Code which previously regulated "other forms of state control in the form of visits to the subject of control." At the same time, a similar form of state control called "preventive control with visiting the subject (object) of control" is provided for in Article 140 of the RK Entrepreneurial Code. It is assumed that state labor inspectors will have the right to carry out inspections only on the grounds provided for in the RK Entrepreneurial Code. Other types, forms of checks and control may no longer be carried out.

Hence, there is a clear tendency of the legislator to reduce the number of, and grounds for, checks by way of excluding a number of provisions from the law that previously allowed for various checks. At the same time, other possibilities for checks are preserved. Any positive effect of such changes introduced to the law will now depend on the relevant state authorities which will either refrain from unnecessary checks, if act based on the spirit of the law, or will conduct checks in the previous manner, if using the "loopholes" remaining in the law.

  1. Effective from 14 July 2018 the employer will be obliged to ensure safety and to provide information on deduction and assignments for obligatory social insurance of workers to the state archive10.
  2. Additions regarding duration of maternity leave have been made, in particular, in the part concerning the duration of "the maternity leave after the childbirth". Now, in cases, when the birth is given during the period between 22th and 29th weeks of pregnancy, provided that the body weight of the baby is 500 grams or more and he/she remains alive for more than seven days, duration of "the leave after the childbirth" for any woman will be 70 calendar days (previously this term was equal to 56 calendar days), whereas for the women, residing in the territories subjected to nuclear tests – 93 calendar days after the childbirth (previously this term was equal to 79 calendar days)11

In addition, calculation of this maternity leave will be made in a cumulative way (in case of ordinary childbirth 70 calendar days before the childbirth and 56 calendar days after the childbirth) only in that case when the temporary disability sheet has been requested before the childbirth. Therefore, if the woman addresses for the temporary disability sheet after the childbirth she can only get a part of the holiday which is for the period after the childbirth. 

Footnotes

1 The RK Law No. 147-VI dated 16 April 2018 on amendments to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of employment and migration of the population, effective as of April 29, 2018.

2  The RK Law No. 156-VI dated 24 May 2018 on amendments to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of improvement of the regulation of entrepreneurial activities, effective as of June 8, 2018.

3 The RK Law No. 165-VI dated 2 July 2018 on amendments to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on social welfare, effective as of July 14, 2018.

4 The RK Labor Code, sub-paragraph 5) of paragraph 2 of article 26.

5 The RK Labor Code, paragraph 9 of article 53.

6 The RK Labor Code, paragraph 2 of article 158.

7 The RK Labor Code, sub-paragraph 3) of paragraph  2 of article 181, sub-paragraph 17) of paragraph 2 of article 182, paragraph 2 of article 185.

8 RK Commercial Code, article 144

9 RK Labor Code, sub-paragraph 2), 8) 14) of article 193.

10 RK Labor Code, sub-paragraph 17) of paragraph 2 of article 23.

11 RK Labor Code, paragraph 2 of Article 99.

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