In November-December 2022, representatives of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan as part of the working group of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan took part in the consideration of the draft Law “On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan to simplify the procedure for resolving labor disputes and conflicts.”
Among the main norms approved by the working group and supported by the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Majilis of the Parliament are issues regulating the activities of the conciliation commission and holding protest actions.
Thus, in Article 159 of the Labor Code, the norms in the part “conciliation commission” are clarified and supplemented. To create a conciliation commission, an Agreement on the work of the conciliation commission (a separate Agreement or in a Collective Agreement) is signed between the employer and employee representatives, which determines the quantitative composition of the members of the conciliation commission and other relevant issues of its activities.
It is allowed to hold a meeting of the conciliation commission with the use of information and communication technologies.
In addition, the meeting and the decision of the conciliation commission is valid if, when considering an individual labor dispute, it was attended by an equal number of members of the commission on the part of representatives from employees and representatives of the employer.
Another feature of the amendments and additions being made is that the decision of the conciliation commission is subject to execution within the time limit set by it, but no later than one month from the date of the decision of the conciliation commission, with the exception of a dispute about reinstatement.
The amounts collected from the employer by the decision of the commission are paid to the applicant within the period established for the payment of wages, the next month after the commission’s decision.
It is proposed, by analogy with such countries as: the Republic of Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, to reduce the requirements for the number of votes for the nomination of workers’ claims in the event of a labor dispute to more than half of the participants.
According to the wording of the draft Law: “The decision of the meeting (conference) of employees is considered adopted if more than half of the participants voted in support of the demands put forward by them.”
Certain conditions are necessary for holding a general meeting (conference) of employees. In this regard, the draft Law establishes the norm that “An employer, an association (association, union) of employers are obliged to create the necessary conditions for holding a meeting (conference) of employees and has no right to interfere with its holding.”
In many countries, both near and far abroad – the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Romania – the holding of short-term preventive protest actions is legally fixed.
In this regard, the draft Law proposes to introduce this norm into our labor legislation. According to the proposed norm: “During the consideration of a collective labor dispute by labor arbitration, employees may hold a one-hour warning strike, about which the employer must be warned in writing no later than 3 working days in advance.”
During the discussion of this norm at the working group in the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan , the following amendment was introduced as a legislative initiative of deputies after repeated discussions:
“During the period of consideration of a collective labor dispute by labor arbitration, employees may hold a one-hour warning strike, in which no more than 50 employees can take part.”
Earlier, the deputies proposed to limit the number of participants in the preventive strike to no more than 20 employees.
Representatives of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan expressed their position on the unacceptability of these formulations in connection with the restriction of the constitutional right of other workers to participate in such a preventive strike, since according to paragraph 2 of Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan – no one can be subjected to any discrimination based on origin, social, official and property status, gender, race, nationality, language, attitude to religion, beliefs, place of residence or any other circumstances.
Moreover, by virtue of paragraph 3 of Article 39 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the rights and freedoms provided for in Articles 11, 13-15 and a number of other articles are not subject to restriction in any case.
In addition, the proposed norm – regarding the restriction of the right of other workers to participate in a preventive strike, from the position of the trade union community, contradicts Convention No. 87 of the International Labor Organization “On Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize” (ratified by the Republic of Kazakhstan by the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated December 30, 1999 No. 29-II).
Also in the draft Law, in order to simplify the procedure for organizing strikes, as a legitimate mechanism for expressing workers’ demands, it is proposed to lower the thresholds.
According to the proposed norm, “A conference is considered competent if it is attended by more than half of the delegates elected by employees in accordance with protocol decisions.”
Moreover, in order to simplify the procedure and resolve labor disputes, it is proposed to reduce the time for the creation of labor arbitration from five to two working days.
The deadlines for making a labor arbitration decision have also been reduced from seven working days to five working days.
The work of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan on improving labor legislation continues.
Department of Legal Support of the FTURK