Today, under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Yeraly Tugzhanov, a meeting of the Republican Tripartite Commission on Social Partnership and Regulation of Social and Labor Relations was held in videoconference mode.
During the meeting, the social partners discussed issues of regulation of labor relations, measures to ensure the employment of released employees of Tengizchevroil LLP, and also reviewed the draft Concept of Safe Work in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030.
During the meeting, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin made a number of proposals for the qualitative improvement of the remuneration system at the legislative level.
“The Federation of Trade Unions proposes a number of systemic measures that will largely satisfy the demands of society for justice, as well as create conditions for increasing the real incomes of the population,” the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan said.
First of all, he noted the need to revise the mechanisms for determining the remuneration system.
“According to Article 107 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the salary of an employee is established by an employment contract in accordance with the employer’s current wage system, which is determined by the terms of labor, collective agreements and acts of the employer. Despite the fact that collective agreements should include provisions on the remuneration system and acts of the employer, in practice this mechanism has low efficiency. The main reason for this circumstance is the influence of the employer on the employee and the declarativeness of collective agreements concluded, where there are no trade union organizations,” stressed Satybaldy Dauletalin.
At the same time, the Chairman of the FTURK recalled that out of 154,635 collective agreements concluded in the country, only about 25-30 thousand were signed by trade unions. According to him, the content of the remaining 129 thousand contracts raises questions.
“In order to create mechanisms for the influence of employees on decisions made by the employer regarding remuneration, we propose to make additions to Article 107 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, providing for the publication of acts of the employer defining the remuneration system, taking into account the opinions of employees’ representatives,” suggested Satybaldy Dauletalin.
The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions focused special attention on the issues of ensuring timely payment of labor.
He proposed at the legislative level to provide for the right of an employee to suspend work in case of non-fulfillment by the employer of his obligations on remuneration.
“Despite the constitutional provision of the right to remuneration for work, the problem of wage arrears is still relevant. According to Article 113 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in case of non-payment of wages in full and on time, the employer bears administrative responsibility and is obliged to pay the employee debt and penalty for the period of payment delay. At the same time, the employee is provided only with his right to receive wages in a timely manner and in full, without any opportunities to influence the employer. In this regard, it is proposed to legislate the right of an employee to suspend work and be absent from the workplace for the entire period until the payment of the delayed amount and penalties. As exceptions to this rule, it is necessary to provide for cases of the introduction of a military and state of emergency, the organization of life support for the population, etc.,” the Chairman of the FTURK noted.
At the same time, he proposed to ratify ILO Convention №173 “On the protection of workers’ claims in the event of an entrepreneur’s insolvency” in full.
“That is, not only from the norm of establishing priority, but also through insurance of employees against loss of earnings in the light of the employer’s insolvency,” said Satybaldy Dauletalin.
The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions also announced a set of measures to index wages. Trade unions propose the introduction of mandatory annual indexation of the minimum wage, as well as regulation of the procedure and timing of wage indexation in the economy.
“After the increase in the minimum wage to 42,500 tenge, and now with its increase to 60,000 tenge, the issue of indexing the minimum wage has not been resolved. Also, in practice, in most cases, the question of indexing wages in the economy as a whole remains open. In accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 157 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the inclusion in the collective agreement of the wage indexation procedure is only a possibility, and not its mandatory provision. In this regard, the Federation of Trade Unions proposes to provide for a norm on the annual indexation of the minimum wage by the estimated value of the annual consumer price index for the current calendar year,” the Chairman of the FTURK noted.
An equally important problem, as stressed by Satybaldy Dauletalin, is the income inequality of the manager and the employee.
“There is a groundless difference in the amount of wages in the country. In some cases, the income of the employer and the employee differ by 50 or more times. And this difference
cannot be explained by any labor participation coefficient and the level of responsibility. From the point of view of world practice, such imbalances indicate a problem in the labor market,” the Head of the FTURK said.
In order to eliminate this injustice, he proposed to introduce a legislative norm to establish the maximum level of the ratio of the salary of the head and ordinary employees in a multiple of 1 and no more than 10.
A separate block of FTURK proposals is aimed at eliminating legal gaps in the system of determining the minimum wage, the cost of the food basket and the subsistence minimum.
Satybaldy Dauletalin stressed that these indicators do not correspond to the real needs of Kazakhstanis and called on social partners to take urgent measures to develop appropriate methods, as well as to ratify ILO Convention №131 “On the establishment of minimum Wages with Special consideration for Developing countries.”
“In world practice, it is accepted that the minimum wage should be at the level of 50% of the average monthly salary, which in Kazakhstan is about 125 thousand tenge. Also, to determine the minimum wage in a number of countries, the so–called “minimum consumer budget” is used – an estimated value that characterizes the valuation of goods and services at a higher level than the subsistence minimum,” the Chairman of the FTURK said.
The trade unions also propose to revise the amount of social benefits for temporary disability, by setting it at one hundred percent of the average salary of an employee over the past twelve months.
“Due to the fact that the amount of the benefit does not exceed 15 MCI, as a rule, employees are deprived of part of their wages in case of illness. The amount of the allowance remains very low. For example, in 2022, the maximum amount of temporary disability benefits is 45.9 thousand tenge – 77% of the minimum wage,” the Chairman of the FTURK noted.
In the light of the creation of equal pay conditions for employees, Satybaldy Dauletalin paid special attention to the issues of establishing and applying increasing industry coefficients.
“Until 2014, the approval of increasing industry coefficients determined by industry agreements was within the competence of the Government. At the same time, at present, the amount of increased official salaries or additional payments is determined by a collective agreement or an act of the employer, taking into account the industry coefficients determined by the industry agreement. However, in practice, the establishment and application of increasing industry coefficients is unsystematic, and their calculated value actually has no scientifically based approaches and depends on the ability of trade unions to defend their positions,” stressed Satybaldy Dauletalin.
Along with this, the Federation of Trade Unions proposes to include in the competence of the Government the approval of a methodology for calculating increasing industry coefficients classifying working conditions according to the degree of harmfulness and danger.
In his speech, Satybaldy Dauletalin focused on the issues of employee participation in enterprise management.
“The current legislation does not regulate the participation of employees in the management of the enterprise. The employer’s decisions are often made without taking into account their opinions, often there is a communication vacuum between employees and the employer. This circumstance leads to inconsistency of the positions of the two sides, which is fraught with negative consequences, including spontaneous strikes and destabilization of society,” the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions believes.
In this regard, trade unions propose to legislate for the right of employees to participate in the management of the enterprise directly or through their legal representatives.
Important measures, according to the Chairman of the FTURK, should be the maintenance of norms on holding consultations with employees when adopting acts of the employer and the participation of employee representatives in meetings of the collegial management body of the enterprise with the right of advisory vote, etc.
“It is important to conduct regular labor consultations that would prevent potential labor conflicts and build constructive communication with employees. We propose to include in the Labor Code the obligation of employers to organize and conduct such labor consultations,” Satybaldy Dauletalin said.
Summarizing his speech, the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions expressed support for the initiatives of the Head of State, including the development of a program to increase incomes of the population.
Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov instructed the members of the RTC to jointly consider the proposals of the Federation of Trade Unions and develop effective mechanisms for socio-economic support of citizens, taking into account the instructions of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan