Kazakhstan: Labor Reforms on Flexible Work Arrangements
Recently, Kazakhstan has introduced significant reforms to its Labor Code in order to allow employers to adopt a 4-day workweek with employee consent. The amendment also introduces staggered work schedules and offers job-sharing arrangements for employees. The amendment shall come into effect on July 1, 2023. The key details of the amendment are as follows –
Four Days Work Week
Currently, an employee’s working time in a workweek shall not exceed 40 hours and 8 hours per day. A 5-day working week with two days of rest shall be established for the employees. In organizations where the introduction of a 5-day working week is inappropriate due to the nature of production and working conditions, a six-day working week with 1 day of rest shall be established.
In accordance with the amendment to the Labor Code, employer and employee may establish a “normal” workweek of up to 40 hours that may be distributed over a 4-day workweek (up to 10 hours each day), with the possibility to alternate with a 5-day or a 6-day workweek, through a mutual agreement.
Full-time employees shall be entitled to request, in writing, their employer’s approval to work their full weekly work hours over 4 days instead of the standard 5 days or, alternatively, to request biweekly work schedules where weekly working hours would be shorter in one week and longer in the next.
Weekly Rest Period – The normal day off shall be Sunday for a 4-day, 5-day, or 6-day workweek. The second day off (with a five-day workweek) or second and third days off (with a four-day workweek) shall be established by employment policies or CBAs.
Staggered Work Schedule
Employers may establish staggered work schedules under which the duration of the workday varies depending on the day of the week and workload, subject to a maximum workday of 11 hours including overtime.
Joint Employment (job sharing)
Employers may employ 2 employees on a part-time basis to perform the same work jointly. Single mothers with children below the age of 14 (18 years for a child with a disability), parents with children under 3 years of age, employees with sick family members, and those within the retirement age or older shall be eligible for joint employment.
Employer’s Takeaway – If an employer chooses to adopt the possibility of a 4-day workweek, or staggered work schedule, they shall be required to amend their workweek policies or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to recognize the possibility of an alternative normal workday (as defined by work rules or CBA) of up to 10 hours along with the normal workday of 8 hours.