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Kazakhstan Passes New Labor Law Without Consulting Workers

As the slump in prices for energy commodities continues, Kazakhstan is expecting large job losses in the oil and gas industry. (Photo: Joanna Lillis)

Hard times need hard labor laws. At least that is what Kazakhstan has decided. This week, President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed off on legislation that stacks the cards more strongly in favor of employers.
 
Supporters of the changes, which will go into effect in January, hail what they cast as the bold liberalization of a labor market that had long remained constrained by Soviet-era labor laws. The changes, they also argue, will boost business and attract more foreign investment.
 
While entrepreneurs are endorsing change, however, there is less enthusiasm among advocates for workers’ rights, who worry the revised law erodes the rights of employees.
 
In a nutshell, the law will make it easier to lay off workers.
 

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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia. Peter Leonard is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.

Kazakhstan Passes New Labor Law Without Consulting Workers

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