What is new in labor code of azerbaijan?

Amendments to the article 33 of the Labor Code of Azerbaijan were adopted at the session of Azerbaijan Parliament in February 2009. The amendments cover various spheres creating conditions for more comprehensive protection of labor rights of the citizens.     

One of the basic changes to the document is connected with increasing the period of labor vacation from 21 to 28-30 days. Holidays, days of mourning, elections and referendums were added to the vacation days in the Labor Code. For the first time in Azerbaijan the day of voting will be non-working, and will be paid for the workers on this day.

Innovations touched upon the interests of young people as well. Now people in Azerbaijan, who returned from the military service, will be able to continue labor activity at the previous workplace. According to the changes and additions, the worker has the right to return to the previous work after demobilization from the military service. This right is reflected in the Law on Youth Policy. More specifically, in the Labor Code, this right gives to worker an opportunity to appeal to the employer during 60 days and to be re-appointed for his job during this period.

But here, the formerly proposed changes to the Labor Code, which envisage increasing the period of maternity by two times - from 126 to 250 days, did not find their reflection in the amended Labor Code.

For the employer it is not profitable to wait so long for returning of worker, but in the case of adopting this addition, precisely woman could suffer. The fact is that in recent years the tendency is observed for employing young boys than girls, to whom preference was given earlier. Now, even in the banks of city it is possible to observe the tendency of replacing previously working girls of operating service with young boys. The changes to the Labor Code would only incandesce the situation for the women. Small changes were made to the labor contracts. The periods of signing labor contract were refined. So the contract signed for more than 5 years is considered an agreement forever.

The Labor Code strengthened social protection in case of termination of the labor contract. The list of prohibitions for the dissolution of the contract with the workers was enlarged. The list included the men having children of up to six years. Earlier this concerned only women. Special importance is attached to the protection of the families, in which there are disabled people. Hereinafter it is forbidden to dismiss workers, who have people with limited possibilities and disabled people in the family.

In favor of the employer, an item was added to the article that the employer has the right to cancel the contract with the worker not meeting the requirements during the probation period. Employer determines the period (testing or permanent) of the contract with the worker. However, these workers can not be people not reaching 18 years of age, including pregnant women, men and women who lonely bring up children those not reaching three years of age; those, who finished education and started the first labor activity; those, who conclude contract for a period of two months. In this case the period of the contract (test or permanent) shall be determined according to the consent with them.

Besides the amendments and additions on the labor contract, the key requirement remains the same - labor contract must be concluded compulsorily. From the point of view of documentation, the most frequently occurring violation of the requirements of labor legislation is that labor contract is not concluded with the workers, i.e., there are involved in the work without signing individual labor contract.

In connection with this, a number of measures are taken in Azerbaijan to combat violation of the labor legislation. Thus, in the first half of 2008 the labor inspection department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Azerbaijan conducted monitoring in 1,075 enterprises (432 public and 643 private), where 4,600 breaks were revealed, of which 22 percent was connected with the non-signing of labor contracts. In addition, many other breaks were revealed, including 13.4 percent due to the incorrect calculation of the salary, 7.3 percent - medical-social provision, 2.7 percent - incorrect calculation of social benefits, 3.1 percent - violation of technical security regulations.

In order to remove these problems, the inspection issues orders, and if they are not implemented, the companies, where breaks are revealed, are subject to penalty, amount of which is determined depending on violation.

The highest indicators of violation of the technical security regulations are observed mainly in the construction companies in Azerbaijan. Measures are taken to toughen up the measures to reduce violations. If the companies do not follow the regulations even after assignment of penalty, the inspection ceases construction. Thus, already in 2007, the inspection terminated construction works in eight construction companies and in 2008 in two companies.    

The measures to combating violation of technical security violations are reflected in the Labor Code of Azerbaijan as well, which urges the employers to ensure security in height.

Now the days when the temperature of weather exceeds 40 degree are considered day off for the people who work in open air. Earlier, according to the Labor Code, the limit was 45 degree.    

The amendments to the Labor Code also envisage strengthening control measures in the enterprises where child labor is used. In spite of enlightenment measures to protect the rights of children, last year the State labor inspection revealed 11 facts of incorrect use of child labor, including 5 facts in transport. In addition, use of child labor is observed in service sector.  

The State inspection strengthened control in these mass spheres. The inspection plans to hold monitoring of observance of legislation on use of child labor. Monitoring will be held in enterprises of spheres. According to the Labor Code, the labor activity of children reaching 15 years of age must be allowed by the parents or guardian. Labor activity of children younger than this age is prohibited.   

As seen, the amendments to the Labor Code are directed towards protecting interests of the workers, strengthening their social protection. However, several articles were amended from the point of view of interests of the employers.

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