Kyrgyzstan is a small country of six million people located to the west of China and to the south of Kazakhstan. It was a republic of the Soviet Union until becoming independent in 1991. Most of Kyrgyzstan is mountainous, with many peaks exceeding 4,000 meters (13,123 feet), and a few taller than 7,000 meters (22,965 feet). The capital and largest city is Bishkek. The largest ethnic group, the Kyrgyz, are close to 75% of the population, with the rest consisting of Uzbeks, Russians, and many smaller ethnic groups. Kyrgyz and Russian are the official languages, with Uzbek being a major language in the areas of western Kyrgyzstan with large Uzbek populations. Kyrgyzstan’s economy is largely based on agriculture and resource extraction. The Kyrgyz people were historically nomads who roamed the mountains with their herds, and the country still produces wool and meat, as well as cotton. Kyrgyzstan also has deposits of gold, uranium, and mercury, among other metals.
Employment contracts must include a job description, wages, place of work, and the rights and obligations of the employer and employee. It must be in writing and signed by both parties. Although employment contracts can be for fixed terms, the preference is for unlimited terms. Contracts for fixed terms are not permitted in all cases, and, generally, may not have a duration of more than five years. If the term is not specified in writing, it will be for an indefinite period. If both the parties want to continue the relationship after a fixed-term contract expires, the contract will be treated as indefinite.
The standard workweek in Kyrgyzstan is 40 hours. Overtime is paid at a rate of not less than 1.5 times the worker’s basic hourly rate for the first two hours and not less than two times the basic hourly rate for the third hour and any additional overtime hours. Under some circumstances, a worker’s wage for working at night must be not less than 1.5 times the base wage. Work done on a scheduled day off or on a holiday shall be paid not less than twice the worker’s normal pay rate.
Employers are not required to provide paid sick leave but most employers provide some time off for illness.
A pregnant female employee is entitled to take up to 70 days of leave before the birth of her child and 56 days after the birth. In the event of a birth with complications or the birth of more than one child at the same time, the mother is entitled to 70 days of leave after the birth.
Female workers in certain remote or mountainous regions are entitled to additional maternity leave. Part/all of this leave may be taken by the child’s father or any other relative who will be caring for the child. Additional, unpaid leave may be taken until the child reaches three years of age. During maternity leave, employers pay workers 100% of the employee’s wages for the first 10 working days. Beginning on the 11th day and continuing through the end of the leave, the employee on leave receives a benefit paid by the government. Female employees may not be denied employment or terminated because of pregnancy, and women with young children at home may not be terminated except in limited circumstances involving misconduct.
Kyrgyzstan has a minimum wage. Employers are not required to provide bonuses to their employees.
Employees receive 28 days of annual paid leave.
Kyrgyzstan has a compulsory health insurance system which includes basic, compulsory, and voluntary health insurance.
An employment contract can be terminated if one or more of the following applies:
In addition, an employee may terminate an employment contract with two weeks’ written notice and, if an employer refuses to terminate a fixed-term employment contract at the employee’s request, the employee may seek a resolution in court. There are many circumstances that allow an employer to terminate an employment contract. These include downsizing or layoffs, a change in ownership of the organization, an employee’s lack of qualifications and various types of serious misconduct by an employee including absenteeism, coming to work intoxicated, theft, or providing false information to the employer.
In most cases, an employer and employee may agree to a probationary period in the employment contract. The length of the probation is capped at three months for general staff and six months for executive employees. If the employee’s performance on probation is not satisfactory, the employer may terminate the employment contract by giving at least 3 days’ prior written notice to the employee. The employer must provide the employee with a document which states the reasons why the employee’s performance during the probationary period was not satisfactory.
An employee may terminate the employment contract during the probation period by giving three days’ written notice to the employer. An employer normally must provide one month’s written notice of termination, which the employee must acknowledge in writing. However, employers only need to provide two weeks’ notice if the employee cannot perform the duties of the job due to lack of qualifications or health issues. In most cases, an employee cannot be dismissed during a period of temporary incapacity or while on leave. Severance payments are required in some situations.
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