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Results in social sphere for 5 months of 2020: Restoring employment and providing new types of support

Friday, 26 June 2020, 18:14:09

At the reporting public meeting, the Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Birzhan Nurymbetov spoke about the results achieved in the social sphere in 2019 and for 5 months of 2020.


More than 20% increase in social payments in 2020

At the beginning of his speech, the head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population noted that 85% of the department’s budget is designed for direct payments to the people. The state guarantees 39 types of social benefits in the form of pensions and benefits. Working citizens receive payments from the system of Compulsory Social Insurance for five social risks.

In 2019, 3.1 trillion tenge was allocated for social payments from the republican budget. Pensions and benefits were provided to 3.9 million people (21% of the population) totaling more than 2.8 trillion tenge, including: pension payments — more than 2.2 million pensioners, the amount — about 2.3 trillion tenge; state benefits — about 1.7 million people, volume — 570.5 billion tenge.

About 825.2 thousand people received payments from the system of compulsory social insurance in the amount of 194.2 billion tenge.

“In 2020, 3.5 trillion tenge is provided for social payments in the republican budget. It is planned to give 4 million people pensions and benefits for a total of more than 3.4 trillion tenge, which is 21% more than similar expenses in 2019,” Birzhan Nurymbetov informed.

The minister also noted that in 2020, pensions and benefits were increased twice.

So, since Jan. 1, 2020, joint pensions have been increased by 7%, basic — by 5%. Since April 1, 2020, both types of pensions have been increased by another 5%. As a result, in annual terms, the size of joint pensions increased by 12%, base — by 10%.

The size of state social benefits also increased by 10% in annual terms: by 5% from Jan. 1 and another 5% from April 1, 2020.

As part of the implementation of the law “On Compulsory Social Insurance,” from Jan. 1, 2020, the size of payments from the State Social Insurance Fund also increased: for loss of ability to work — by 69% for 74.4 thousand people, for loss of the breadwinner — by 41% for 44, 8 thousand people, for the loss of work — by 44% for 12.5 thousand people.


Expenses for social support of families with children in 2020 increased by more than 200 billion tenge

One of the important areas of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection is the policy of support for mothers and children. The state guarantees families with children 6 types of benefits from the republican budget (for childbirth; for caring for a child up to 1 year old; for mothers of many children awarded with pendants Altyn Alqa and Kumis alqa; for large families; for caring for a disabled child; for caring for a disabled person of group I since childhood).

For example, a one-time allowance for the birth of a child from 106 thousand to 175 thousand tenge is provided. In 2019, 422 thousand children were born in Kazakhstan. All benefits paid.

Working women who are members of the social insurance system also receive 2 types of payments from the State Social Insurance Fund: maternity and childcare up to 1 year.

Also, pension contributions to women on maternity leave are subsidized from the republican budget.

In total, 372 billion tenge was spent for these purposes in 2019, of which 200 billion tenge — for the payment of benefits, 167 billion tenge — for social payments from the Fund, 5 billion tenge — for subsidizing pension contributions.

In 2020, it is planned to allocate a total of 581.5 billion tenge to support families with children, of which 389 billion tenge to pay benefits, 186.5 billion tenge to social payments from the Fund, and 6 billion tenge to subsidize pension contributions.


Mechanisms for providing Targeted Social Assistance to be improved in Kazakhstan

In less than a year and a half, the mechanisms for providing TSA have already been improved twice.

So, from April 1, 2019, the criterion for the appointment of TSA was increased from 50% to 70% of the cost of living (from 14,849 to 20,789 tenge).

Since Jan. 1, 2020, a new model for the provision of targeted social assistance has been introduced, which provides for:

  • payment of state benefits to large families with 4 or more children (an average of 11,112 tenge per month for each child);
  • provision of TSA (on average, 11,117 tenge per month for each family member, including children);
  • Provision of a guaranteed social package for children from low-income families (grocery and household kit for children aged 1 year to 6 years; school uniforms and supplies, meals at school, reduced fare for children aged 6 to 18 years).

In addition, the role and responsibility of precinct commissions in determining the need of a family in TSA was strengthened. Also, the responsibility of the social assistance recipients themselves has been strengthened by compulsory fulfillment of the terms of the social contract and termination of payments to the whole family in case of refusal to employ able-bodied family members.

TSA recipients are given ample opportunity to overcome a difficult life situation within the framework of the implementation of the Enbek State Program for the Development of Productive Employment and Mass Entrepreneurship: free training, employment, the provision of free grants and microloans for starting a business.

According to Birzhan Nurymbetov, further improvement of the TSA provision mechanisms provides for: transferring the State Social Benefits to the Social Services Portal, reaching social recipients with unconditional cash assistance, supporting the family to cope with a difficult life situation.

“By order of the President, our ministry has already begun work on transferring the State Social Benefits to the Social Services Portal. Recipients and suppliers will interact directly on a single digital platform. Recipients will be able to independently choose goods in sets of social packages,” said the head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

At the next stage of improving targeted social assistance, it is planned to amend the legislation in terms of the coverage of social adaptation measures by recipients of TSA in an unconditional form. These are people who do not sign a social contract (16%) and for objective reasons cannot be covered by employment measures, but need to provide them with various services, including educational, cultural, medical, psychological, legal ones.

Such examples include screening the health of all family members, compulsory registration of pregnant women, compulsory visits to psychologists in difficult life situations, attaching children to educational institutions, distance education courses for children. This work must be carried out in conjunction with the modernization of the services of social workers who are called upon to accompany such families until they are brought out of a difficult life situation.

The main tool will serve as the information system Digital Social Map of the Family. Its revised version is planned to be completed by the fall of this year. Interdepartmental assistance to bring families out of difficult life situations will be provided by giving access to the information system to all interested state bodies and organizations.


Measures to strengthen social support for people with disabilities

The head of the ministry noted that support for persons with disabilities is one of the main priorities of the department. Today, 698 thousand people in the country have disabilities.

“In the second half of last year, we held a lot of meetings with people with disabilities, public organizations, employers, there were very stormy working meetings and I must say that there are many problems in this area that need to be addressed and reforms. Together we identified more than 90 systemic problems and already have some understanding of their solution,” Nurymbetov said.

So, in order to enhance social support for people with special needs and to involve them in society, amendments were made to 19 regulatory legal acts.

In 2020, the Social Services Portal was launched, with which people with disabilities can directly order rehabilitation equipment and special social services from suppliers. The portal has already posted 24 types of rehabilitation equipment, a full launch of the portal is scheduled for 2021.

Today, about 300 thousand people with disabilities receive technical rehabilitation equipment, special social services, the services of an individual assistant, and spa treatment.

“We have 579 suppliers. During this time, already 6 thousand orders are executed by the disabled. And in the second half of the year we will be launching spa treatment on the portal, the services of an individual assistant and sign language specialists, as well as the remaining 31 types of rehabilitation technical equipment. We also launched the domestic production of wheelchairs, and from July on the basis of Tyniz JSC in Kokshetau our domestic strollers will be produced,” the minister informed.

In order to strengthen social support for people with disabilities, further legislation is envisaged.

The main directions of the new bill “On the Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities,” developed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, will be: strengthening measures to increase the economic activity of persons with disabilities and introducing additional measures for their social protection.

“Today we are going to the big law, I would like to say that it will be very important for us in the coming years — this will create conditions for people with disabilities, their employment and economic activity. This is a very important element. And we provide for a number of measures in the bill,” the minister said.

In order to engage disabled people in active labor, it is planned to create a database of their competencies and develop an Atlas of Professions for people with disabilities to work on. It is planned to send employees of employment centers to places of medical and social expertise to involve people with disabilities in active measures to promote employment. The main mechanism will be the state program Enbek.

In addition, the deadline for the provision of spa treatment is regulated — 14 calendar days. At the request of persons with disabilities, a single procedure for the remuneration of individual assistants has been established; the obligation to return cochlear implants has been lifted; expanded the list of irreversible anatomical defects in which the disability group is established indefinitely; a list of diseases in which adult disability is established for 5 years. A phased transition to an absentee medical-social examination is planned.


Increasing incomes of working people

According to the results of the study, incomes per person do not exceed 59 thousand tenge. This amount depends on the salaries of working Kazakhstanis. After all, social payments are made from the budget, and therefore thanks to working citizens. According to official statistics, the average salary in Kazakhstan does not exceed 200 thousand tenge. If you look deeper, then 77% of Kazakhstanis receive less than the average wage. Salaries vary by economy, region, etc. For example, in agriculture, the average salary is 105 thousand tenge, in the North Kazakhstan, Zhambyl and Turkistan regions — 140-145 thousand tenge.

Today in Kazakhstan there are more than 1.3 million employees, including 275 thousand civil servants of education, health, social services, culture and sports. On Jan. 1, 2019, the minimum wage increased to 42,500 tenge. Since June 1, 2019, all civil servants have been increased wages to 30%. Since Jan. 1, 2020, the salaries of teachers, social workers, and cultural workers have been increased by an average of 30%.

The private sector employs 5.5 million people today. The amount of wages here depends on the employer. In 2019, Elbasy made an appeal in which he called for raising the salaries of low-paid workers. As a result, 205.6 thousand enterprises increased the salaries of 1.2 million employees.

Nurymbetov noted that the Ministry of Labor is working to increase the minimum wage.

More than 5.6 million Kazakhstanis received social support from the state during the state of emergency

In his speech, the head of the ministry emphasized that during the state of emergency, which lasted in Kazakhstan from March 16 to May 10 inclusive, unprecedented measures of support from the state were taken.

“In the shortest possible time, in just a few days, a completely new payment was introduced for the loss of income in connection with the introduction of the state of emergency from the State Social Insurance Fund in the amount of the minimum wage — 42,500 tenge. This payment was intended for working citizens who were forced to remain without the ability to work. Applications for social payment were submitted by 8 million citizens, payment was assigned to 4.6 million people who meet the criteria for a total of 321.9 billion tenge,” Birzhan Nurymbetov informed.

To ensure that the introduction of the state of emergency did not affect the quality of the provision of public services in the social and labor sphere, 24 online services were posted on the Electronic Calls service on the Egov.kz portal.

In order to speed up the process of making payments from the State Social Insurance Fund due to job loss (in the absence of suitable vacancies), the terms for assigning unemployed status have been reduced from 14 to 3 working days.

For the duration of the emergency regime, 108.9 thousand families were automatically reassigned targeted social assistance. Also during this period the periods of disability and disability payments are automatically extended for 3 months.

In addition, the minimum composition of the grocery set for needy citizens was approved, and a special procedure for its provision was developed.

During the state of emergency, 1 million 45 thousand citizens were provided with food sets:

  • 202.7 thousand children aged 6 to 18 from the number of TSA recipients;
  • 109.6 thousand registered unemployed;
  • 648 thousand disabled children, disabled people of I, II and III groups;
  • 84.9 thousand people raising a disabled child.


More than 1.2 million people to be covered by employment promotion measures in 2020

According to the results of the first quarter of this year, the number of people employed in the economy was 8.8 million people, the unemployment rate was 4.8%.

In March-April, due to the introduction of quarantine measures, 4.2 million Kazakhstanis were temporarily out of employment.

“The weakening of quarantine measures began on April 20 2020, which contributed to a phased resumption of employment. We believe that measures taken by the Government to restore the economy, with an emphasis on ensuring employment, will stabilize the situation on the labor market since July 2020,” said Birzhan Nurymbetov.

According to the minister, the expected unemployment rate at the end of the year could be 6.1%.

At the same time, he emphasized that in this year, measures to promote employment are planned to reach 1 million 220 thousand people.

The largest number of citizens will be covered within the framework of the implementation of the Enbek State Program for Development of Productive Employment and Mass Entrepreneurship — 600 thousand people, under the Employment Roadmap — 255 thousand people, under other state programs (Nurly Zhol, Nurly Zher, SPIID, Business Roadmap 2020- 2025, etc.) — 364 thousand people.

According to the minister, as of June 1, more than 224 thousand people became participants in the state program Enbek, of which 185 thousand were employed. As part of the measures of state support for vacancies, 99 thousand people were employed; for public works — 62 thousand; for social jobs — 13 thousand; for youth internship — 11 thousand

Under the Employment Roadmap, 6,505 infrastructure projects are envisaged that will ensure the creation of 255 thousand jobs, including 15 thousand at permanent facilities.

A special condition for the implementation of infrastructure projects of Business Roadmap is to ensure the use of at least 90% of the goods and services of domestic manufacturers. At least 50% of workers will be hired through employment centers.

The implementation of the Business Roadmap will lay the foundation for the creation of more than 100 thousand permanent jobs in related industries in the future.


Labor rights of 17 thousand employees protected in 2020

The Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved the Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention of Labor Conflicts, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection regularly monitors and verifies compliance with labor laws.

In the period from January to May 2020, state labor inspectors eliminated more than 2 thousand violations of labor rights of 17 thousand employees who paid off wage arrears for a total amount of over 1.7 billion tenge.

Also, inspections of 95 enterprises attracting foreign labor were carried out, where over 1,000 different violations were eliminated.

Another important issue is safety and labor protection. Kazakhstan implements the Roadmap to reduce occupational injuries and jobs with harmful working conditions for 2019-2023. 14.7 thousand production councils were created and 2.3 thousand labor protection standards were introduced. 116 billion tenge was spent on measures to ensure safe working conditions for workers. As a result of measures taken over the past 4 years, there has been a positive trend in reducing occupational injuries from 1,683 injured in 2016 to 1,431 in 2019.

In the field of labor relations, social partnership is actively developing. In particular, 126 thousand enterprises concluded collective bargaining agreements, including 94.7% of large and medium enterprises. 137 thousand enterprises have concluded memoranda on job preservation. 205 thousand enterprises increased the salary of 1.2 million low-paid workers by 32.7%.

On May 14, 2020, the law "On Amendments and Additions to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Labor Issues" entered into force.

The document provides for the digitalization of personnel records management by entering information on the employee's labor activity into the Unified System of Accounting for Employment Contracts; establishing obligations and responsibilities of employers to create decent working and living conditions for employees; exclusion of the employer's right to terminate the employment contract unilaterally; preservation of the place of work for citizens for the period of military service; reviewing the formation of trade unions in order to stimulate the trade union movement and increase the role of trade unions in protecting the rights and interests of workers.


More than 6 thousand people received oralman status in 2020

Since 1991, more than 1 million ethnic Kazakhs have returned to their historical homeland and received oralman status, which is 6% of the country's total population.

As of June 1, 3,245 families (6,361 ethnic Kazakhs) arrived in the republic, 631 families (2,224 people) of oralmans and immigrants settled in the regions of admission (East Kazakhstan region, North Kazakhstan region, Akmola, Pavlodar, Kostanay regions).

May 13, 2012, the Head of State signed a law to improve migration processes, which provides for:

  • a new version of the concept “qandas,” according to which the main criterion is the fact that the ethnic Kazakh was not previously a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  • extension of oralman status by the local executive body once for a period of not more than six months to expand the possibilities of obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan in a simplified manner;
  • the right of repatriates to simultaneously apply for a permit for permanent residence and the acquisition of Kazakhstani citizenship.

Speaking about external labor migration, the minister emphasized that the quota for attracting foreign labor in 2020 was reduced by 40% compared to 2019.

Since the beginning of the year, permits have been issued to attract more than 7.7 thousand foreign workers. Employers paid a tax charge of 2.8 billion tenge. At the same time, companies comply with the requirements for ensuring Kazakhstani participation in personnel, the share was 96%.


All social and labor services to be transferred to electronic format in 2020

In his speech, Birzhan Nurymbetov noted that the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population is one of the leading state bodies in terms of digitalization. In 2019 alone, the transfer of social and labor services to the electronic format saved 2.2 billion tenge.

Today, the ministry is implementing a number of important projects. The most significant of them is the Social Family Card, which covers 100% of the citizens of Kazakhstan, i.e. 7 million families. The social map shows what social status does each family have, the algorithm of work to deal with an emergency or crisis.

After the formation of social cards, 101 thousand families were identified who were in emergency or crisis. Measures were taken to employ 12.7 thousand people, to attach 68.8 thousand citizens to polyclinics, 72.9 thousand children to kindergartens and schools. 1451 families out of crisis and emergency situations.

Another important project is the "Social ID of a citizen of Kazakhstan." This project aims to increase transparency, convenience in obtaining social benefits. Social ID provides for the payment of TSA, the payment of reduced fare in public transport, free meals in schools for children from large and low-income families.

The pilot of this project was implemented in 9 regions of the republic. 102 thousand ID-cards were issued, 88 thousand transactions were made. In the future, we plan to scale this project to all regions of the republic.

In the field of employment, the projects Electronic Labor Exchange and Electronic Labor Contracts are being implemented.

To date, the e-labor exchange have 214 thousand employers, a million applicants, almost 1.5 thousand hours of free classes completed through the Coursera online education platform.

Thanks to the exchange, more than 1.2 million people were able to find work, of which 868 thousand were employed in permanent jobs, and 341 thousand were employed in temporary work.

The project Electronic Employment Contracts has connected 35 thousand organizations. Already, 1.4 million electronic contracts have been registered, this helps to protect the labor rights of workers.

Regarding the automation of public services, it was noted that at the beginning of 2019, the share of electronic services was 42%, according to the results of 2019, it increased to 83%. The growth was achieved through to the placement of 6 public services on the Egov portal and the transfer of 10 services to a proactive format. By the end of 2020, it is planned to increase the share of electronic services to 100%.

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