The official name is the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is a country that spans two continents–Asia and Europe. Known for being the world’s largest landlocked country, this Central Asian economic powerhouse has vast potential. Russian and Kazakh are the official languages. The country is strategically located along the new Silk Road and has an increased global presence. Oil is a major export of Kazakhstan.
The standard workweek is capped at 40 hours. Five day workweeks are the norm, although a business can establish a six day workweek if that suits the business’ needs better. Creative or athletic enterprises have some freedom to establish different schedules. Employees between the ages of 14 and 16 may not work more than 24 hours per week. Those between 16 and 18 are limited to 36 hours per week. Employees who work in particularly difficult or hazardous jobs are also limited to 36 hours per week. In addition, employees under the age of 18 and pregnant women who have provided a medical certificate of pregnancy to the employer are prohibited from working between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Mothers of children under seven years old, people bringing up children under seven without the child’s mother, and persons with a disabled child under the age of 16 may only work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. if they give written consent. Disabled people may only work during these hours if they have given written consent and they have not been prohibited from doing so by a doctor. Employees who work at night must be paid a minimum of 150% of their standard hourly or daily rate, with the exact night rate usually being set by contract. Employees must provide written consent to working overtime, except in a few emergency situations. Overtime is capped.
Employees are entitled to paid sick leave once they provide medical certification of their inability to work. The amount of payment is determined by the Kazakhstani government, although the employer may voluntarily pay more than this amount. The employer is responsible for paying the employee a social allowance until the employee either returns to work or is certified as disabled.
Female employees, after presenting medical certification of a temporary inability to work, receive 70 days of paid leave before giving birth, and 56 days after the birth. If the birth has complications or it is a multiple birth, the leave following the birth is extended to 70 days. Employees who adopt a new born baby receive paid leave from the date of the adoption until the child is 56 days old. Special rules may apply in the event of a premature birth or other special situations.
The employer pays the mother her average wage during maternity leave, reduced by the amount of social benefits she receives. In addition, working mothers are eligible for two one-time social benefit payments: one to compensate for lost income due to pregnancy and childbirth, and a second to compensate for childcare expenses during the first year of her child’s life. The first payment, which is made only to working women, is based on the state Minimum Calculation Index (MCI), which was KZT 2,778 in 2020. The payment is 38 times the MCI for the mother’s first, second and third child, and 63 times the MCI for the fourth child and any subsequent children.
The second payment is made to all women who give birth, whether or not they work. For working women, the amount of the payment is calculated by multiplying the employee’s average monthly income by the number of months of missed work and subtracting 10% (representing the amount that would have gone to pension contributions). Both male and female employees may take unpaid leave to care for a child the employee is responsible for (whether it is a biological, adopted, or foster child) until the child is three years old. To take this leave, the employee must submit a birth certificate or other document confirming the birth and a written application stating the estimated time they will be on leave. An employee on maternity leave may not be terminated under most circumstances.
Kazakhstan has a minimum wage. Bonuses are paid at the employer’s discretion.
Employees receive 24 days of paid leave annually.
Kazakhstan is moving towards universal healthcare, but in practice, patients must pay most medical costs themselves.
The required notice period depends on the reason the employer is terminating the employment contract. An employer may terminate an employment contract for many reasons, including liquidation, staff cuts, lack of required professional qualifications and disciplinary reasons. Terminations for disciplinary reasons require that the employer first request a written explanation from the employee and allow the employee two working days to respond. The employer may then terminate the employee and must provide written notice of the termination to the employee within three days. The employer must take action within one month of detecting the conduct for which the employee is being terminated.
A minimum of one month of written notice is required if employees are being terminated because of liquidation or because personnel are being reduced. In the event that employees are being terminated because the volume of production or the amount of work the company is performing has dropped off, necessitating lay-offs, the employees to be terminated must receive 15 days of notice in writing which explains the reason for the termination. A proportional payment of wages may be substituted for the notice period if the parties agree. This procedure may only be used when three conditions are satisfied: 1) the structural unit (e.g. a particular factory or other worksite) is being closed; 2) there is no possibility of moving the affected employees to other jobs; and 3) the employees’ representatives are informed in writing of the upcoming termination(s) and the reason(s) it is/they are necessary, at least a minimum of one month in advance.
In certain other cases, termination at the initiative of the employer requires a certification or verification by an authority. An employee who is still in the probationary period may be terminated at any time, but must still be given written notice of termination and a written statement of the reasons for the termination. An employee who wishes to quit a job must provide the employer with written notice a minimum of one month in advance. The employment contract may be terminated sooner if the employer consents in writing. Contracts may also be terminated by mutual consent. The party seeking to terminate the contract by agreement must send notice to the other party, which must respond in writing within three days. If the other party agrees, the date of termination of the contract is set by agreement. An employer pays one month of salary as severance when employees are terminated because of a liquidation, personnel cuts, or the employer’s failure to comply with terms of the employment contract.
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