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Senate Ratifies Two Labour Conventions, Passes Civil Protection Law

A plenary meeting of the Senate was held under the Chairmanship of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Senators ratified the Agreement between Kazakhstan and Vietnam on mutual legal assistance in civil cases. The aim of the Agreement is to develop cooperation in the area of legal relations, and to provide legal assistance to each other in civil cases on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit. Ratification will allow the citizens and legal persons of each state to enjoy legal protection of their personal and property rights on the territory of the other state.

The House also ratified the Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention (Convention 26). According to this document, each member of the International Labour Organization which ratifies this Convention undertakes to create or to maintain machinery. The convention says that the minimum wage rate can be fixed for workers employed in certain trades or parts of trades (and in particular in trades practiced in the home). According to Article 4 of the Convention, countries "shall take the necessary measures, by way of a system of supervision and sanctions, to ensure that the employers and workers concerned are informed of the minimum wage rates in force and that wages are not paid at less than these rates in cases where they are applicable".

The other Law adopted by the Senate, On Ratification of Protection of Wages Convention, will ensure further introduction of international standards relating to protecting wages and confirm Kazakhstan's commitment to international norms in this area. The document specifies the order of timely and regular payment of wages, their protection from excessive deductions, and protection in the case of bankruptcy or liquidation of the enterprise. It is stressed that "wages shall be protected against attachment or assignment to the extent deemed necessary for the maintenance of the worker and his family".

The House adopted the Law On Civil Protection aimed at creation of a single legal, organizational, informational and methodological space regarding organization of civil protection on the entire territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The document contains several innovations, such as the concept of "civil protection," a "112 service," and organization of civil protection based on territories and branches. The document establishes regulations for the state system of civil protection and emergency announcements based on territorial and branch organization. The law demarcates the zones of responsibilities of central and local executive bodies for arranging fire fighting and addressing emergency situations.

The accompanying draft legislation on the issues of civil protection has been considered in two readings and passed into law. The law introduces changes and additions to eight codes and 32 legislative acts.

The Senate also considered the Draft Law on changes and additions to certain legislative acts on questions regarding the activity of internal affairs bodies. The document, with the senators’ amendments, was sent back to the Mazhilis. The amendments are to be introduced to the Labour and Tax codes, as well as to some legislative acts aimed at strengthening the fight against extremist and terrorist activity.

During the meeting, Senator Lyazzat Kiinov read out his parliamentary inquiry.

The Speaker of the Senate concluded the session by wishing his colleagues a Happy Nauryz Meiramy. "Nauryz is a great day. I wish you success and all the best."

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