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Workforce Flexibility and Government Incentives in times of Covid-19 - Kazakhstan

Short-term State Aid

Covid-19 Questionnaire

Are there any regulations in place providing an employer with possibility for flexible workforce planning such as part-time work/temporary leave which are triggered in a situation similar to a pandemic outbreak as Covid-19?

Yes

If YES on question 1, please describe which type of regulation. Please confirm if and to what extent such leave can be supported by state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support.

It should be noted, that there are no Covid -19 specific regulations in the labor legislation. All terms and conditions of such change of the working regime are as a general rule dictated by the Labor Code and the Employment Law, trade union regulations, the employer’s internal regulations and the employment contract with each employee.

In accordance with the Labor Code of RoK there are three types of temporary leaves:

  • temporary disability leave;
  • stand-by period; or
  • paid or unpaid vacation.
  • Temporary Disability Leave (sick leave):
  • Sick leave is paid by the employer based on the certificate from medical institutions. Based on the Labor Code, the employer must pay a minimum amount of 15 monthly calculated indexes (currently, approx. $80, unless a higher amount is provided by the employer's own internal policies.

  • Stand-by period at neither of the employer's or employee's failure must be paid by the employer in the amount of minimum salary, i.e. currently approx. $100.
  • Paid vacation should be compensated with not less than the average monthly salary of the employee, and unpaid vacation is not paid.

if YES on question 1, please describe which contacts that may need to be initiated with trade unions and/or works councils. Must a special process be followed?

Only if employees are members of a trade union. Special procedures are set out by the Trade Unions Law and collective agreement. However, they are not COVID-19 specific, they are of general nature.

Are there any governmental programs if a company needs to close totally or partially for a certain time period?

In his speech of 23 March 2020 the President of Kazakhstan stated that for the period of the state of emergency monthly payments will be made to individuals deprived of income due to introduction of the state of emergency (around $100).

By the Government Ruling dated 20 March 2020 No. 126, certain enterprises which suffered from a mandatory shutdown were exempt from the following taxes until 31 December 2020:

  • property tax for malls, shops, entertainment centers, cinemas, theatres, exhibitions, sports facilities;
  • land tax for agricultural producers;
  • personal income tax for individual entrepreneurs using a general regime of taxation.

For taxpayers indicated in items (1) and (2) above, the accrual of interest has been suspended until 15 August 2020, and the period for filing tax reports on the relevant taxes was extended until Q3 of 2020.

In addition, the filing period for CIT tax reports was extended until 30 April 2020 (one-month extension) for all enterprises.

Other governmental support measures have been declared by the President and the Chairman of the Agency for Financial Supervision in their statements in mass media, such as:

  • potential loan repayment vacation (until June 2020) and freezing of interest accrual by banks and by the National Management Holding Baiterek. potential freezing of lease payments, no interest and penalties, by the Investment Fund of Kazakhstan for lease of immovable property.
  • There are following recent documents adopted by the government to support taxpayers:

    Resolution No. 224 dated 20 April 2020 of the Government of RK that introduced changes to the tax rates and the dealines for tax obligations for certain categories of taxpayers.

If state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support is available, please describe the necessary prerequisites to qualify for such state aid.

Please see above.

Each Resolution is adopted and regulates activity of certain type of industries that are in urgent need for the help from government due to Covid-19 situation.

First of all individual entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises received government help such as postponing tax reporting, suspension of loans for some time. Such help was given to the enterprises that could not function due to Covid-19 restrictions.

If state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support is available, please describe the application procedure for such state aid (e.g. how and when is the application filed with the government etcetera; what shall such application include).

For tax benefits, nothing is expected from the taxpayers, the exemptions would apply automatically.

For the financial benefits, the borrowers are expected to file an online application with the relevant lender. No details are yet available.

Please note that the COVID-19 scenario is constantly changing and that this information is current as of 04 June 2020. This publication should not be regarded as offering a complete explanation of the legal matters referred to and is subject to changes in the law and other applicable rules.