Today, a meeting of the collegium of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan was held based on the results of activities for 2019 and upcoming tasks for 2020.
The meeting was chaired by Vice Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov, attended by Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan Birzhan Nurymbetov, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions Satybaldy Dauletalin, heads of local executive bodies, public organizations and business structures.
First Deputy Chairman of FPRK Satybaldy Dauletalin focused on the problematic issues of the world of work and voiced a number of proposals for its improvement.
First of all, the need to reform the current model of wage formation in Kazakhstan is noted.
- Dauletalin noted that a significant number of workers in Kazakhstan still receive wages in envelopes. There are also delays in paying salaries. In addition, labor protection requirements are not always observed, which leads to an increase in industrial injuries and occupational diseases.
Among the problematic issues, the formation of a payment system in economic sectors was also noted.
“The current model of wage formation, left at the mercy of employers, has accustomed capital owners to an easy way to make a profit by not paying wages to employees. This model does not force owners of enterprises to actively invest in innovation and modernization of the enterprise. On the contrary, it allows solving problems in an easy way by underpaying earnings to employees, and letting all the excess profits earned go to their own well-being, ”said Satybaldy Dauletalin.
He proposed introducing norms into the Labor Code providing for the regular indexation of workers’ salaries, as well as various social benefits.
At the same time, the importance of ratification of the ILO Conventions was noted: No. 102 “On minimum standards of social security”, No. 154 “On facilitating collective bargaining”, No. 131 “On setting the minimum wage”.
To jointly develop new approaches and solve the problems of wage indexation, the Federation of Trade Unions proposed the creation of a working commission under the Ministry.
MTSZN Minister Birzhan Nurymbetov supported the proposal of the Federation of Trade Unions on the legislative consolidation of wage indexation in Kazakhstan. He stated this on the sidelines of a meeting of the board of the department.
“Unfortunately, until that time, the issue of indexation was not directly spelled out in labor legislation due to the fact that associations of employers did not agree with this. In 2016, we ensured that indexation issues were spelled out as mandatory issues that should be reflected in the industry agreement of the three parties. Therefore, it is correct that the union raised this issue. Today we agreed that there will be a working group separately with trade union organizations, where we will hone this issue, ”the head of the MLSPP emphasized.
Trade union injuries are also a concern for unions today.
For this, as Satybaldy Dauletalin emphasized, it is necessary to switch from a compensation model to managing professional risks.
“It is the employer who is obliged to organize the prevention of injuries in the workplace, answering the law for the life and health of workers and actively involving the workers themselves in managing the labor protection system,” said the First Deputy Chairman of the FPRK.
The priority for trade unions remains the resolution of social and labor conflicts. S. Dauletalin noted a 4.5-fold increase in the number of collective labor disputes in 2019 compared with 2018 – from 2 to 9 cases.
At the same time, in 2019 there was an increase in the number of existing collective agreements by 29.7% (from 92 645 to 120200), from 2017 – by 54.6% (in 2017 –77 750). This result, he said, became possible due to, among other things, the active actions of trade unions in the field.
The Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Birzhan Nurymbetov, voiced new approaches to ensuring safety and labor protection and protecting the labor rights of Kazakhstanis.
So, in 2019, according to the results of inspections of 9.5 thousand employers, over 11.3 thousand violations were eliminated. The rights of more than 41 thousand employees who were paid more than 5.4 billion tenge of salary arrears were protected.
As part of the implementation of the Roadmap to reduce occupational injuries and jobs with harmful working conditions for 2019-2023 and a memorandum with the International Social Security Association to promote the Vision Zero Zero Injury Concept, the number of industrial accidents was reduced by 8.8%. The number of victims was 1,430, of which 180 were fatal.
As of January 1, 2020, collective agreements covered 96.5% of large and medium-sized enterprises and 42.7% of small enterprises.
Measures will also be taken to review the status of state labor inspectors in accordance with ILO conventions, in terms of the unhindered conduct of inspections of enterprises, and the increase in the staff of labor inspectors.
The head of the department announced a reduction in 2020 of the quota of attracting foreign labor by 40% compared to 2019.
He also noted that the Majilis of Parliament is considering a bill on labor, which covers a wide range of issues on the introduction of new approaches to managing labor protection and improving the activities of trade unions.
Based on the results of the speeches, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Yeraly Tugzhanov, gave instructions to address pressing issues of the social and labor sphere.
A number of instructions concerned the ratification of the Conventions of the International Labor Organization.
In addition, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, Atameken Scientific-Production Enterprise, and FPRK have been instructed to develop concrete proposals for the provision of employment for persons with disabilities within a month. As Eraly Tugzhanov emphasized, the number of persons with disabilities over the past 5 years has increased significantly.
As a positive example, the Deputy Prime Minister cited the People’s Control trade union project, which has been implemented at the Aktobe ferroalloy plant of Kazchrome TNC since 2019. The project involves 16 full-time “people’s controllers” from among former employees of the enterprise who have received disabilities. Compliance with safety regulations is monitored by “people’s controllers” through surveillance cameras.
At the same time, the MLSPP was instructed to conduct an inventory of legislation in the field of social security.
The main priority should be the implementation of a unified social policy and the observance of all social obligations guaranteed by the state.
“In the package of measures for real income growth, the provision of assistance measures is significant. Implemented an employment roadmap. The Enbek program is operating. But there are questions too. It is necessary to evaluate the real effectiveness of these programs over the implementation period. There were many opinions, I know that. This question is very serious. I think that the Ministry of Labor will have a one-month period to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the labor market and the effectiveness of the employment implementation mechanism, ”Eraly Tuganzhanov emphasized.
A separate block of instructions related to social support for low-income citizens.
The Deputy Prime Minister instructed the MLSPP together with the regions to complete a pilot testing of social ID-cards and ensure their launch throughout the country by the end of the year.
“The pilot implementation of social ID-cards is taking place in six regions today. Good work is being done in the Karaganda region, in Pavlodar and in Nur-Sultan. This includes meals in schools, travel by public transport, obtaining TSA, free medication is included here, if necessary. I think this process can be improved. I think if the project has been launched since September, today the results require more active work. It is necessary to increase efficiency in this direction. All regions I ask today to actively connect. I ask the Ministry to take control, ”Tugzhanov urged.
In conclusion, the Deputy Prime Minister recalled that the main priority in the work of social partners should be the implementation of a unified social policy and compliance with all social obligations guaranteed by the state.