361 foreign workers reduced wages to the level of Kazakhstani workers. This was announced by Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Birzhan Nurymbetov at a meeting chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Berdibek Saparbayev, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the press service of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.
According to Nurymbetov, as of January 1, 19.1 thousand permits to attract foreign labor were issued. In their structure, 77 percent are accounted for by managers and qualified specialists.
The main countries of origin of labor migrants are China, Uzbekistan, Turkey, India and the United Kingdom. At the end of 2019, employers paid tax fees in the amount of 8.2 billion tenge. Kazakhstani content in personnel is provided at the level of 96 percent. During the inspections of 95 enterprises with over 30 foreign specialists, 1,008 facts of violations of labor and migration laws were revealed, including 479 imbalances in the remuneration of local and foreign workers. Also among the violations: discrimination on working conditions and sanitary conditions, inadequacy of the education of foreign workers to their positions, performance of work in a specialty that does not comply with the permit, and others.
“397 administrative cases in the amount of more than 98 million tenge were initiated. For 361 foreign workers, the salary has been reduced to the level of a Kazakhstani employee, and for four Kazakhstani employees, the salary has been raised to the level of a foreign worker. 703 permits were revoked, 507 foreign workers were expelled from the country, ”the minister said. He noted that in order to prevent and reduce the number of such violations, as well as to strengthen the procedure for issuing permits to attract foreign labor, the Ministry is taking a number of measures. In particular, the obligation of employers to create equal sanitary conditions for employees is introduced by law.
Every year, planned inspections will cover enterprises with more than 250 employees, attracting more than 30 foreign workers. For 2020, the quota for attracting foreign labor has been reduced from 48.7 to 29.3 thousand. The issuance of permits to employees in four categories will be carried out only in the absence of workers in the domestic market. In addition, employers are legally obligated to replace Kazakhstani hired foreign workers employed in the 3-4th category.
In turn, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Arystangani Zapparov said that last year 531 thousand labor permits were issued (work was done by employers – individuals under the Ministry of Internal Affairs quota). The main part of labor migrants are engaged in repair or construction, provide services of a nanny, a cook and other domestic workers. 6.5 billion tenge paid to the budget. In addition, as part of the amendments to the migration legislation, the issue of increasing the advance payment of income tax from labor migrants from two to four MCI for each month is being discussed. Summing up the meeting, Berdibek Saparbayev instructed the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, local executive bodies to tighten control over the issuance of permits to foreigners.
“The issue of attracting foreign labor is very serious. Our most important task is to protect the domestic labor market. We have already taken the first step in this direction by reducing the quota for the IRS by 40 percent to 29 thousand, ”he emphasized. The Deputy Prime Minister also focused on the growth in the number of labor migrants, most of whom are involved in working specialties. In his opinion, local cadres could well work at these jobs. “The facts that were revealed during the checks should be clearly suppressed. There are examples when they gave permission to work as an engineer, but in fact works as a cook. At the same time, he receives a salary as an engineer. It is necessary to take strict measures to the leaders of such enterprises.
Employers must remember that if they want to work in Kazakhstan, then breaking the laws is unacceptable. Salaries, working conditions and social conditions should be the same for Kazakhstani and foreign workers. There should not be discrimination, ”summed up Saparbayev.