- Gaukhar Mashakova, part of the law team at TMF Group’s Kazakhstan office, talks us through the changes to Kazakhstani employment law ahead of Expo 2017.
- TMF Fundadministrators B.V.
It seems Kazakhstan’s supply of local skilled labour won’t be enough to feed the Expo 2017 beast: the country’s foreign workforce quotas are getting an overhaul as the country prepares to host the next International Exposition in Astana.
The amendments simplify procedures to bring in foreign experts that have the necessary experience in designing and constructing world-class facilities using the advanced energy-saving technologies expected of this Expo host.
Expo 2017 will focus on the theme “Future Energy”, looking at both the future of energy and on innovative but practical energy solutions. It’s the first time a major international exhibition of this kind will be hosted by a country from the former Soviet Union.
But Kazakh law features foreign workforce quotas and special permit procedures to limit the inflow of foreign workers to the country, in turn encouraging companies to hire more local workers. Permits establish different conditions for blue collar and white collar professionals, and local labour supply can’t keep up with the demands of Expo.
According to Tengrinews, Kazakh Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Yerbolat Dosayev said the Employment Law’s new provision is specifically for companies involved in organising and holding the international exhibition outside of the set foreign workforce quotas; it’s expected around 200,000 skilled contractors will be needed.
Legislation amendments for Expo 2017 include additions to the different areas of Kazakhstani law including tax, budget, the law on employment and the law on migration. These amendments are specifically for companies and organisations that will organise and conduct the Expo, and for companies that will participate.
The new rules won’t affect companies coming to and operating in Kazakhstan outside of the Expo.
The rules of hiring foreign labour are aimed at promoting and maximising the employment of locals and protection the Kazakhstan labour market. Companies operating in the Republic that want to hire a foreign employee should ensure they have a work permit for that employee before they begin duties.
Obtaining that permit at the moment is very time-consuming, so the simplification for Expo 2017 workers will be welcome news – as will the news that a special visa regime is being considered for these specific workers.