On 16 May, 2020, a new law1 , introducing a number of innovative changes in the Labour Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (the Labor Code), came into force (the Law).
The most significant amendments and alterations to the Labour Code are outlined below.
- Electronic documents and electronic signature. Employers are given a right to produce their internal documents (акты работодателя) in the form of electronic documents, using electronic (digital) signature for validation.
- Fixed-term Contract Extension. A fixed-term contract of employment may be extended for no more than two times.
- Employer. USALC. Employers are required to upload information concerning entering into, termination of and amendments to employment contracts into the Unified System of Accounting for Labor Contracts ("USALC").
- State Labour Authority. The Law has expanded the area of competence of the state labor authority. In particular, the following additional powers were given under the Law:
- develop and establish rules and timing of trainings and knowledge tests on workplace Safety and Health for employees and managers;
- ensure that personal data in the USALC is protected and processed in a confidential manner, in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
- Secondment. Provisions of the Labor Code on secondment of staff and the definition of secondment were revised. Employees can only be seconded to a branch or representative office of the same legal entity - the employer. Accordingly, secondment of staff is possible within the same organization only.
- Contract of Employment. Termination. Before the Law came into force, there was an option for an employer to terminate an employment contract with an employee by mutual consent and subject to paying a compensation to the employee, but without giving a written notice to the employee and obtaining a consent for the termination. The respective clause and the amount of compensation had to be included in the employment contract. However, this provision was cancelled by the Law, which means that employers may no longer use this option to terminate employment contracts.
- Contract of Employment. Termination documentation. A copy of a termination letter must be handed in or sent to the employee by registered mail with delivery notification within three working days from the date the respective internal document is issued.
- Salary. Payment obligations. In case an employer fails to fulfil its obligation to pay salary in full and in timely manner, as provided for by the employment contract and collective agreement, the indebtedness is due with the penalty, which is calculated based on 1.25-fold official refinancing rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan applied at the date of payment for each calendar day the indebtedness is due.
- Corporate Secretary and Internal Audit. New regulations. Terms and conditions of employment for Corporate Secretaries and Internal Auditors are now regulated in the same way as those of members of executive board and key managers. In particular, a decision to appoint or terminate the appointment of a Corporate Secretary or an Internal Auditor come within the competence of the Executive Board.
- Distance work. Employers are required to establish internal regulations on safety and security for distance workers.
Misconduct. New definition. According to the Law, misconduct is unlawful or improper conduct of an employee, motivated by premeditated or intentional purpose or by obstinate indifference to the consequences of his/her acts (вина - in Kazakh law) or violation of working discipline. This means that intention and indifference to the consequences (вина) is a necessary condition to impose disciplinary sanctions.
1 Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 4 May, 2020 N321-VI On amendments to the labour legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan
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