In line with Michael Wilson & Partners' practice of keeping you up to date with important legal developments which may influence your business, we would like to draw your attention to the new changes in the employment legislation of Kazakhstan.
On 27 June 2016, the Acting Minister of Health and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved a Rules and Conditions for the Issuance and (or) Prolongation of Permits to Foreign Workers for Employment, as well as Intra-Corporate Transfer (the "Rules"). The Rules will come into force on 1 January 2017.
There following key changes are introduced by the Rules:
Work permits are to be issued under "general regime"
- The Rules do not contain a list of
exemptions as opposed to the current work permit issue rules, which
provide that, inter alia, heads (directors) of branches and
representative offices of foreign legal entities shall be exempt
from the requirement of obtaining work permits.
Accordingly, the requirement of obtaining work permit will apply to all foreign workers, including heads (directors) of branches and representative offices of foreign legal entities.
- The employer will be obliged to pay the state fee for issue and (or) prolongation of work permit obtained. Such state fee will range from 137 MCI (KZT310,853) to 225 MCI (KZT510,525)1, and the amount of fee will depend on type of the employer's activity and category of the foreign employee2.
- The decision on issue of the work permit will now have to be made within a shorter timeline of seven (7) business days from the documents' submission date.
- The employer will not be obliged to submit a document guaranteeing departure of the foreign employee from Kazakhstan at the termination of work permit.
- Duration of various work permits will
be changed as follows:
- Work permit for the 1st category employees to be issued for a period of twelve (12) months with a possibility of annual prolongation for twelve (12) months;
- Work permits for the 2nd and 3rd categories employees to be issued for a period of twelve (12) months with a possibility to apply no more than three (3) times for a prolongation for twelve (12) months each time; and
- Work permit for the 4th category employees to be issued for a period of up to twelve (12) months without the option of prolongation.
- There will be no requirements as
- Submission of a document guaranteeing departure of a foreign employee from Kazakhstan at the termination of work permit;
- Obligation of the employer to carry out one of the special conditions (i.e. professional training, retraining, raising professional qualification and creating additional jobs for Kazakhstani citizens) for the obtaining of work permit;
- Conducting the search of an appropriate candidate on the local labour market before submission of the required documents.
Work permits to be issued under "intra-corporate transfer"
- The employer must conduct the search
of an appropriate candidate on the local labour market thirty (30)
calendar days prior to submission of the required documents.
Such search should be carried out by publication of a vacancy announcement in Kazakh and Russian languages in republican, local periodic publications and web-sites of private employment agencies. Information in relation to the vacancy should also be filed with the Employment Center.
- Work permits for employment of foreign managers and specialists shall be issued provided that the amount of such foreign employees would constitute no more than 50% of the employer's staff.
- Foreign employees to be employed to a specialist position must hold a certificate acknowledging his/her Kazakh language skills of at least an elementary level.
1 MCI (Monthly calculation index) for 2017 will be KZT 2,269.
2 1st category (directors and their deputies), 2nd category (heads of departments), 3rd category (experts) and 4th category (qualified workers).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.