Hire in Kazakhstan

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Kazakhstan.

Currency of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT)

The Capital of Kazakhstan


Time Zone in Kazakhstan


Important Facts About the Country of Kazakhstan

Introduction to Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It is landlocked, meaning it has no access to the sea. Astana is the capital city, while Almaty is its largest city. The country has a population of 19 million people, but its population density is one of the lowest in the world, with fewer than six individuals per square kilometer. Kazakhstan is a dominant political and economic force in Central Asia, largely due to its thriving oil and gas industry and vast mineral resources.

What to Know about Kazakhstan's Geography

Kazakhstan is a massive country that covers 2,700,000 square kilometers, which is about the same size as Western Europe. It is the world’s largest landlocked country and ranks ninth in size overall. Kazakhstan shares borders with several countries: Russia to the north and west, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the southeast, Uzbekistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. It also has a coastline along the Caspian Sea.

Climate in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan experiences an extreme continental climate characterized by scorching summers and extremely severe winters. Astana, the capital city, is the second-coldest capital in the world, with only Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar being colder. The country’s precipitation levels range from arid to semi-arid, and winters tend to be particularly dry.

The Culture of Kazakhstan

Kazakh culture has been heavily influenced by the nomadic way of life of Turkic peoples. In the post-Soviet era, Kazakhstan’s contemporary culture has been flourishing. The traditional Kazakh way of life has been shaped not only by neighboring countries such as Russia and China but also by Western societies.

Religions Observed in Kazakhstan

The majority of people in Kazakhstan identify as Sunni Muslims, making Islam the most widely practiced religion in the country. However, there is also a presence of Christianity, with the Russian Orthodox Church being the largest Christian denomination. Other religions such as Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism are also present in Kazakhstan, although these communities are smaller.

Languages Spoken in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a bilingual country where both Kazakh and Russian are widely spoken. While around 60% of the population speaks Kazakh as their native language, Russian is the more commonly used language in business, government and interethnic communication. Both languages have equal status as the “state language” of the country.

Kazakhstan Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Kazakhstan

The primary regulation governing employment relationships in Kazakhstan is the Labor Code 2015. Other essential rules and regulations are as follows:

  • The Kazakhstan Constitution
  • The Law on Migration
  • The Law on Mandatory Social Security
  • The Law on Collective Labour Disputes and Strikes (July 8, 1996)
  • The Law on Collective Agreements

Employment Contracts in Kazakhstan

Employment contracts may be concluded for:

  • An indefinite period
  • A definite period
  • A period of performance of a certain work or for the replacement of a temporarily absent worker

If the duration of the employment contract is not specified, it will be considered an indefinite contract. Employment contracts in Kazakhstan are required to be written in Kazakh, Russian,and English if necessary.

The contract must include the following details:

For an employer, the following details are necessary:

  • Full name and address
  • Number and date of state registration
  • Business identification number

For an employee, the following details are necessary:

  • Full name and permanent place of residence
  • Title, number, and date of issue of the identification document
  • Individual identification number

The employment contract must include:

  • Job description based on specific profession or qualification
  • Workplace location
  • Description of work conditions
  • Starting date
  • Work hours and rest time
  • Employment contract term
  • Date of the employment contract and its serial number
  • Remuneration terms
  • Rights and obligations of the employer and employee
  • Procedure for amendment and termination of the employment contract
  • Other provisions, which do not contradict the laws of Kazakhstan, can be included in the employment contract upon mutual agreement of parties.

Fixed Term Contacts for Kazakhstan Employees

Typically, fixed-term employment contracts in Kazakhstan last for three months to one year. However, small firms with fewer than 250 employees are exempt from the one-year fixed-term provisions. If a contract for work has expired, it can be extended for an unspecified duration or for at least one year, with the possibility of such extension limited to twice (except for small businesses that are not subject to the same restrictions).

Pre-Employment Checks

Employers are allowed to gather relevant information from employees themselves but they are not permitted to acquire an applicant’s criminal or credit record directly from public sources. Employers are free to require a medical examination as a condition of employment. They may also conduct alcohol and drug testing on potential hires.

Kazakhstan's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

The probation period cannot exceed three months but it can be extended to six months for certain positions such as chief executives, chief accountants and heads of branches or representative offices.

However, if the fixed-term contract is only for three months, the probation period is reduced to only 14 days.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Kazakhstan

The Labor Code specifies regular working hours should not surpass 40 hours per week or eight hours per day. Overtime work should not exceed two hours per day. The total amount of overtime work for all employees should not exceed 12 hours per month or 120 hours per year.

By mutual agreement, the employment contract permits a four-day workweek with the option to alternate with a five-day or six-day workweek. With a five-day, six-day, or four-day work week, Sunday is typically the day off. A collective agreement or labor regulations determine the second or third day off for a five-day and (or) four-day work week.

The Labor Code permits shift work and cumulative hour schemes for jobs that cannot adhere to standard working-hour regulations due to their nature.

Kazakhstan Laws Regarding Overtime

The compensation for overtime work must be at least 1.5 times the standard rate, while work performed on holidays or days off should be paid at least double the standard rate. Night work, which takes place between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., must be compensated at 1.5 times the standard rate.

Employees may request a day off instead of receiving overtime pay for work performed on holidays and days off.


An employer can only terminate an employee unilaterally if there is a valid reason for doing so. The Labor Code provides a comprehensive list of reasons that justify an employer’s decision to dismiss an employee.

If an employer plans to terminate an employee due to downsizing, output reduction or company liquidation, it must notify the labor authority at least one month in advance.

Employees who are on temporary sick leave or annual leave cannot be dismissed. Pregnant women, women with children under three years of age, single mothers with children under 14 (disabled children under 18 years of age) or those who care for orphaned children cannot be dismissed due to an employer’s worsening economic situation.

Kazakhstan's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

If an employer terminates an employee’s contract due to their company’s liquidation or downsizing of employees, they must provide at least one month’s notice before termination. However, with the employee’s written consent, earlier termination is allowed.

No notice is required when an employee’s employment is terminated for reasons such as poor performance during the probation period, as outlined in the Labor Code.

An employment contract may allow the employer to terminate an employee without notice but with severance compensation, as long as the amount is established in the contract.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Kazakhstan

Severance pay is available in specific cases. If the employer liquidates, reduces its workforce or breaches the employment agreement, the employee is entitled to receive one average monthly salary.

If an employee is dismissed due to reduced production, work or services that have worsened the employer’s financial difficulties, they are entitled to receive two average monthly salaries.

Employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements may offer greater severance compensation. A contract may also permit the employer to terminate an employee without notice and with predetermined severance pay.

Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants

Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements that prohibit employees from engaging in activities that may harm their employer are allowed, according to the country’s labor laws.

Data Protection

The Labor Code and the Personal Data Protection Act safeguard the personal information of employees. The Law on Personal Data Protection mandates employers to acquire the necessary consent from employees or job applicants before collecting and handling their personal information.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Kazakhstan

Personal Income Tax in Kazakhstan

If a person, whether a Kazakhstan citizen or a foreign national, spends at least 183 days in Kazakhstan within a 12-month period, they are considered a tax resident of Kazakhstan. Residents are taxed on their income from all sources worldwide, while non-residents are only taxed on their income earned in Kazakhstan. The tax rate for individuals in Kazakhstan is a flat 10%.

Employers are responsible for deducting and paying monthly income tax and pension fund contributions on behalf of their employees, except for foreign nationals who are exempt from the pension fund contribution.

Social Security in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has social security schemes that cover the following areas: social insurance, medical insurance and pension contributions. The Minimum Monthly Wage (MMW) for these schemes is set at KZT 70,000 for the year 2023.

Type Employee Contribution (%) Employer Contribution (%) Salary Cap
Obligatory Pension Fund (‘OPF’) 10 5 50 times MMW
Obligatory Medical Insurance Contributions (‘OMIC’) 2 3 10 time MMW
Obligatory Social Insurance Contributions (‘OSIC’) N/A 3.5 7 times MMW

Social security in Kazakhstan applies to individuals who hold a residence permit, as well as citizens of Kazakhstan and citizens of member states of the Eurasian Economic Union.

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

Important Information for Kazakhstan Employees

Salary Payment

Employees must be paid at least once a month as per the law. The exact payment date is specified in the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. In case the payment date falls on a day off or a holiday, the payment is due on the last business day before the date. The payment must be made at the place of employment unless the contract states otherwise. If an employer wants to use other payment methods such as bank transfer, it must be clearly stated in the contract.


Although not mandatory, it is advisable to issue payslips that provide a breakdown of an employee’s compensation.

Annual Leave

All employees are entitled to a minimum of 24 calendar days of paid annual leave per year. However, six additional days of paid annual leave must be given to employees who fall under the following categories:

  • Employees performing dangerous work or working in damaging or hazardous conditions
  • Employees with disabilities

Employees and employers may agree to divide the annual leave into multiple portions, provided that one portion is not less than 14 days. However, under the Labor Code, annual leave days can only be carried over to the next year in two situations: temporary incapacity to work (such as sick leave) and maternity leave. Vacation postponement cannot be granted for more than two consecutive years. Additionally, the Labor Code prohibits failing to grant paid annual leave for two consecutive years.

Sick Leave

Every employee is entitled to sick leave and corresponding sick pay, which requires a medical certificate issued by a licensed doctor. There is no fixed length of sick leave specified by law.

If an employee takes more than two months of sick leave, they may be terminated unless their illness is covered by a law allowing for a longer duration of sick leave.

Employers are responsible for providing sick pay, calculated by multiplying the employee’s average daily wage by the number of days missed due to illness. The sick pay is capped at 25 times of Monthly Calculation Index (MCI) per month. The amount of MCI is KZT 3,450 in 2023.

Maternity & Parental Leave

Maternity leave in Kazakhstan typically begins 70 days before the expected date of birth and lasts for 56 days after the birth (or 70 days before and after the birth if there are complications or multiple births). In certain cases, such as prolonged residence conditions or complications during delivery, the duration of maternity leave may be extended to 91 days before and 93 days after the birth. Both the employer and social security provide payment during maternity leave.

Employers are also required to grant unpaid leave to employees for childcare purposes for children up to three years old. To apply for this leave, employees must submit a written request indicating the length of the leave and provide documentation verifying the child’s birth.

Adoption leave

An employee who adopts a newborn child is entitled to leave for the adoption. The leave starts on the day of adoption and lasts for 56 days after the adoption. The employer and social security jointly provide pay during the adoption leave.

Unpaid Leave

Employees are allowed to take five days of unpaid leave for certain life events such as getting married, having a child or experiencing the death of a close relative. This entitlement may also be outlined in employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements. The employer must grant this leave upon the employee’s request and cannot refuse or penalize the employee for taking this time off.

Study Leave

Employees who are enrolled in educational institutions have the right to take study leave to prepare for and take exams, attend training or research projects, prepare and defend these projects or participate in military training programs. The payment for study leave is specified in the employment contract, collective bargaining agreement or training contract.

Public Holidays

Kazakhstan observes 12 public holidays.

Benefits to the Employee in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Statutory Benefits

In Kazakhstan, employees have several entitlements under the law, including pension insurance, medical insurance, annual leave, maternity leave, sick leave, adoption leave, unpaid leave, study leave and other rights as prescribed by law.

Other Benefits

Employers in Kazakhstan often provide additional benefits on top of the legally required entitlements, such as bonuses, private health and life insurance, allowances and extended leave.

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Kazakhstan

General Information

Foreign nationals traveling to Kazakhstan for short-term business purposes can apply for business visas, which are classified into three types based on the reason for entry. Single-entry and multiple-entry visas may be issued under each category, with a single-entry visa being valid for 90 calendar days. The maximum duration of multiple-entry business visas depends on the category and can be up to 180 calendar days or one year. However, the length of stay in Kazakhstan cannot exceed 30 to 90 days, depending on the category.

On the other hand, work visas are issued to foreign nationals traveling to Kazakhstan for up to three years. There are four types of work visas depending on the purpose of entry and immigration category. Similar to business visas, work visas may be issued for a single entry or multiple entries, with a single-entry work visa being valid for 90 calendar days. The maximum duration of multiple-entry work visas depends on the type of visa and can be valid for one to three years, with an exception of five years for participants or bodies of the Astana International Financial Centre and employees or employees of shareholders of the Astana Hub International Technopark of IT startups. A work permit is required in order to obtain a work visa.

Employers in Kazakhstan can hire foreign citizens who hold valid work permits. The number of work permits awarded cannot exceed the annual quota for foreign labor set by the government. Additionally, employers may offer bonuses, private health insurance, life insurance, allowances and additional or prolonged leaves to employees beyond their legal entitlements.

Public Holidays Recognized by Kazakhstan in 2024

Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 New Year Holiday January 2
3 Orthodox Christmas Day January 7
4 International Women’s Day March 8
5 Nauryz Holiday March 21 – 25
6 Kazakhstan People Solidarity Day May 1
7 Defender’s Day May 7
8 Victory Day May 9
9 Kurban Ait June 16
10 Capital City Day July 6
11 Capital City Day Holiday July 8
12 Constitution Day August 30
13 Republic Day October 25
14 Independence Day December 16
15 Independence Day Holiday December 17

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