At a round table meeting chaired by the Vice Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Olzhas Ordabayev, a discussion was held of the draft Comprehensive Plan for the Development of the Labor Market until 2030, which was attended by representatives of the World Bank, central government agencies, NCE Atameken, and industry experts. The position of the Federation of Trade Unions was presented by the chairman of the Committee on socio-economic relations and social partnership of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Saruar Kenzhebulat.
As emphasized by representatives of the Center for the Development of Human Resources, who acted as the developers of the draft Comprehensive Plan, a feature of this document is its focus on creating “quality jobs”, which means:
– the level of remuneration is not lower than the median salary in the region (with a review every six months);
– stable employment for at least six months at one workplace;
– the availability of medical insurance, pensions (deductions), paid leave and other forms of compensation;
– creation of a safe working environment with the level of occupational injuries not higher than the industry average rate of occupational injuries / deaths.
Meanwhile, during the discussion session, Saruar Kenzhebulat, Chairman of the Committee on Socio-Economic Relations and Social Partnership of the FPRK, made a number of comments and suggestions on the draft document.
He questioned the expediency of including in the draft plan the mechanisms of regulation and directions for the development of sectors of the economy.
“The analysis of external factors in relation to the labor market – the state in various sectors of the economy is quite logical and explainable, however, attempts to include regulatory mechanisms and directions for the development of these sectors in the Comprehensive Plan may cause certain conflicts with sectoral policies of authorized state bodies, duplication of individual activities, and in the future – the discrepancy between the measures taken between the Comprehensive Plan and other program documents in connection with the established practice of making changes and additions to state planning documents,” Saruar Kenzhebulat emphasized.
Along with this, he noted that the main factor in creating quality jobs is the provision of decent work standards.
“The document contains a strong business-oriented approach, involving measures to create an enabling environment for businesses, which are therefore expected to create quality jobs. At the same time, it is equally important, if not the most important, is the formation of a regulatory environment that allows ensuring an adequate level of minimum standards for workers when creating jobs,” Saruar Kenzhebulat.
At the same time, speaking about measures to develop the labor market, he focused the attention of social partners on the priority role of the Labor Man.
“As you know, the subjects of the labor market are employers and employees, and the object is directly labor that creates economic value, the bearer of which is the Laborer. Simply put, the value created is distributed in the form of the owner’s profit and the remuneration of employees, and here it is important to understand that the focus should be on decent work and the Human of Labor, and not on the interests of the business. Although this is also important,” recalled the head of the Committee on SEA and JV FPRK.
Noting the importance and relevance of the proposals of the MLSPP on the development of skills and competencies of the workforce, he pointed out a number of unresolved problems in this area and proposed to analyze the current legislation to identify inefficient regulatory mechanisms, with the development of proposals for their improvement.
The representative of the Federation of Trade Unions considers it necessary to revise the norms of the current legislation in the field of social guarantees.
“We also welcome the initiatives of the MLSPP on the digitalization of employment management processes and the transformation of employment centers, however, first of all, it is necessary to critically rethink the current legislation in the labor sphere and in the field of social guarantees, namely, to determine the minimum social guarantees of the state that are adequate to the realities: the minimum wage, the amount of subsistence minimum, payments in the event of social risks,” suggested the speaker from the FPRK.
In addition, he believes that the Comprehensive Plan should be linked and synchronized with the Program to increase the income of the population, in which one of the key indicators is to increase the share of wages in GDP, and the target for this indicator for the future should be at least 50%.
It is also proposed to mandatory designate wage standards in the Comprehensive Plan, first of all, to increase the ratio of the minimum wage to the average and median wages, where the target for the future should be at least 50% and 60%, respectively.
According to the position of the FPRK, the Comprehensive Plan should also include systemic measures to improve the state of safety and labor protection, as well as the creation of decent working conditions in general.
As Saruar Kenzhebulat emphasized, an equally important issue in the development of the labor market is to improve the quality of social partnership, the role of social partners, taking into account opinions and mandatory coordination of the introduction of new regulatory measures with trade unions and employers’ representatives.
“The development of the institution of trade unions should take key positions in the Comprehensive Plan, as representatives of the core element of the labor market – the Labor Man,” said the chairman of the Committee on SEA and JV FPRK.
In general, he recommended that the Government take comprehensive measures to resume the development and implementation of the Decent Work Country Program together with the ILO and social partners, and the Comprehensive Plan, the speaker believes, like other related policy documents, should be based on the priorities of the Decent Work Program.
Following the results of the round table, the organizers of the meeting noted the importance of the proposals voiced by the participants in the discussion and expressed their readiness to consider them in detail.