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2 July 2015

Kyrgyz Republic: ACT NOW! The proposed amendments to Labour Code contradict ILO standards

On 18 June 2015, the official website of the government the Ministry of Economy published for public comment a draft law on amendments and additions to the Labour Code of the Kyrgyz Republic suggesting to the introduction of a frame for regulation of work of persons employed by the private business entities. ACT NOW! by signing BWI solidarity campaign supporting its colleagues in Kyrgyzstan, the Construction WU of the Kyrgyz Republic.

According to experts, the share of this category of workers in the overall working population is over 90%. Consequently, the amendments will affect almost absolute majority of workers. Employers would have the possibility of concluding fixed short-term individual employment contracts without any restrictions currently applicable under labour law. Organisations engaged in business activities will be legally exempt from the obligation to pay overtime and night shifts allowances, including work on holidays and weekends. Workers can be fired at the employer's discretion for any reason beyond stipulated by the labour legislation. It will be enough to list these reasons in the employment contract.

According to the expert in the field of labour law, the author of the current Labour Code V.Breivo, "such "reform" of the labour legislation will have a major impact on labor rights and social guarantees for an enormous mass of workers. The proposed amendments are contradicting the ILO Convention No. 158 and recommendation No. 166".

A tripartite working group composed of representatives of business community, state authorities and trade unions has been working during March-May this year under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyz Republic in order to discuss the amendments to the Labour Code.

"During the discussion, representatives of government bodies, namely the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic, the State Labour Inspection, and trade unions strongly opposed most of the proposed amendments. Only the changes regarding vocational and skills training were agreed upon by the parties. However, the very draft law that was lobbied by the business community was presented for public discussion. Such biased approach should not be used during passing draft laws of the character that is fundamental and essential for the whole society," said the expert.

The international protest campaign is now being launched to protect the labour legislation of Kyrgyzstan – the national industrial unions are appealing to their respective Global Union Federations, while the Confederation of TU of Kyrgyzstan is preparing to file an official application to the International Labour Organization.

ACT NOW! by signing BWI solidarity campaign supporting its colleagues in Kyrgyzstan, the Construction WU of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Details about...

Kyrgyzstan (02/07/2015 - 03/12/2015)

Amendments to Labour Code in Kyrgyzstan

Union: Construction WU of the Kyrgyz Republic
BWI Action: I was informed by the Building and Wood Workers' International, BWI, about the changes to the labour legislation proposed by the Kyrgyzstan Government and I am appalled to hear about attempts to provide private employers with a tool that would allow them to make any violation of workers’ rights and discrimination absolutely legal at their own will. I strongly protest against the anti-union attitude of the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, displayed among other things by disregarding the work done by the tripartite working group, and by openly lobbying the interests of the business community at the costs of the overwhelming majority of working population. I urgently ask you to intervene as this situation violates ILO standards enshrined in C. 158 and Recommendation 166.