• Insights

Kazakhstan – What’s new in employment law in 2019

Written by
AEQUITAS Law Firm, the top labour and employment practice in Kazakhstan.
This article summarises the most important developments anticipated in Kazakh employment law in 2019.

Discrimination on the grounds of skin colour

To bring the provisions of the Kazakh Labour Code prohibiting discrimination in the field of labour in line with the ILO Convention 1958 (No. 111) ratified by Kazakhstan in 1999, a proposal has been issued to add skin colour to the categories protected from discrimination when exercising employment rights. These amendments are included in a draft law entitled ‘On Introduction of Amendments into Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Labour Issues’ (‘the Draft Law’). According to publicly available sources, the Draft Law is dated August 2018. At the time of writing it appears probable that this draft law will be adopted at the end of December 2018, and the law will enter into force on 1 January 2019.


As a result of the OECD campaign to fight corruption, most business organisations in Kazakhstan (especially those with foreign participation) have a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of bribery. Currently, if after identifying circumstances related to an incident of commercial bribery from which the employer suffers material and reputational damage, a company no longer trusts an employee involved in bribery (since there is a risk of further violations) the employer cannot terminate the employee’s employment contract, even if the bribery is proved by an internal investigation. This is because Kazakhstan’s current labour legislation has no legal grounds for termination of employment contracts with employees involved in bribery. As a result, there is currently a proposal to allow the legal dismissal of an additional category of employees: those where the employment relationship has suffered a breakdown in trust and confidence. These amendments are also included in the Draft Law and at the time of writing it appears likely they will enter into force on 1 January 2019.

Electronic contract system

There is a proposal that ‘unified accounting system for electronic employment contracts’, known as the ‘AIS project’, will be implemented. This system will allow records of employment contracts throughout the country to be kept electronically, optimising the employment process.

Under these proposals, employers will have an obligation to submit information related to the conclusion of employment contracts, any amendments to them and termination to the unified labour accounting system. Employers will also be liable for any failure to submit such information.

Employees will also have the right to obtain information from the unified labour accounting system about their employment activities, employment contract and any amendments to it and other related information. The unified labor accounting system will also gather all information on the employee’s labour activities (such as data about employees’ previous employment), and this information will be available online.

In 2018, this process was launched in one pilot region in Kazakhstan; the aim is that the system will subsequently be introduced throughout the country. At the time of writing there is no precise date for this expansion, because project implementation requires amendment of the Kazakhstan Labour Code. Based on the results of the test and assuming there is complete approval for this system in 2019, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Kazakhstan will start drafting a relevant law.

Yuliya G. Chumachenko
Partner - Kazakhstan