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19 March, 2019

Salary increase and conflict resolution: Government considers issues of improving labor conditions

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At the Government meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, measures to regulate labor relations were considered, reports the press service of PM.

Protection of labor rights of workers, including the right for timely and decent wages

Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Berdibek Saparbayev reported that today 6.6 million people work at 165 thousand enterprises in various sectors of the country's economy. The priority task of the ministry is to protect the labor rights of workers, including by providing timely and decent wages.

“The issue of repayment of the wage arrears to employees is under the special control. In 2018 as a result of measures taken, the rights of more than 32 thousand workers were protected — they were paid 3.2 billion tenge,” said Saparbayev.

According to the minister, in order to increase the effectiveness of salary arrears repayment, it is proposed to include an order from the state labor inspector in the list of executive documents of bailiffs. This will equate them with court decisions and ensure their enforcement.

Particular attention is paid to the preservation of informal labor relations. In 2018–2019, a nationwide action “Make a Labor Contract” was held. As a result of the action, more than 40 thousand labor contracts were concluded.

In fulfillment of the President’s Address “Growing Welfare of Kazakh Citizens: Increase in Incomes and Quality of Life,” the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population together with local executive bodies is working to increase the wages of low-paid workers. According to akimats, March 14, 2019, over 184 thousand employers increased the wages of 958 thousand low-paid workers. For these enterprises, the average wage of low-paid workers increased by 33%.

Ensuring safe labor conditions for workers

At the same time, Minister Saparbayev reported on the reduction of occupational injuries in 2018 by 6.6%. So, according to the request of state labor inspectors, employers suspended 100 officials from work, 16 production facilities were banned. About 1,400 materials which initiated 98 criminal cases were sent to law enforcement agencies.

In addition, as part of systemic measures, an Integrated Roadmap to Reduce Workplace Injuries and Jobs with Hazardous Working Conditions for 2019-2023 has been developed, which provides for:

- Modern labor protection management system at industrial enterprises,

- Improving the efficiency of state, internal and public control over compliance with labor legislation.

Prevention of collective labor disputes

To strengthen the work on the prevention of collective labor disputes, a new Action Plan for the Prevention and Resolution of Labor Disputes has been developed.

Thus, the efforts of all social partners will be aimed at training employers and workers negotiating skills and achieving consensus.

The work of employers' associations on the prevention of labor disputes will be maximized. For this, the Labor Ombudsman was established at the republican, sectoral associations of employers.

In his turn, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Roman Sklyar reported on the measures taken to ensure industrial safety.

At the meeting, their proposals for further improvement of the social and labor sphere were voiced by the Chair of the Federation of Trade Unions of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Abdiraiym, Deputy Chair of Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Olzhas Ordabayev.

Akims of Karaganda region Yerlan Koshanov and Zhambyl region — Askar Myrzakhmetov reported on measures taken to regulate labor relations in the regions and to improve working conditions.

Deputy Prime Minister Gulshara Abdykalikova, in turn, urged regional akims to pay special attention to the regulation of labor relations. In particular, to monitor and control the release of workers and their employment, as well as to prevent the growth of wage arrears.

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