Kazakhstan introduced a new Labour Code, which came into force on 1 January 2016, replacing the Labour Code of 2007. The new Code introduced a more flexible regulation of the procedures for recruitment, dismissal, working conditions and salaries: these conditions are now to be arranged more individually, between employer and employee. The Ministry of Health and Social Development which initiated the new legislation, explained that the legal regulation of labour relations in modern Kazakhstan requires more flexibility and dynamism, as well as a more important role for collective bargaining.

Representatives of employees and employers participated in the drafting of the new Code, and the Kazakhstan branch Trade Union of Education and Science Workers (TUESWK) played an important role in the negotiations. M.T. Amantaeva, president of the TUESWK, notes that "the first draft of the Labour Code proposed by its developers contained a clear bias in favour of employers, but in the course of the work on this project, we managed to balance the rights and responsibilities of the main actors of labour relations, to preserve a number of guarantees for workers, and to strengthen the position of trade unions in labour relations." As the conceptual idea of the new Labour Code is a contractual regulation of the labour relations, TUESWK considers its main task to be the further development of social partnership.

TUESWK consistently works on the issues of teachers’ salaries and one of the significant outcomes of this work is a new Pay Scheme for public sector employees that was introduced in Kazakhstan on 1 January 2016: now, teacher’s salaries depend on each teacher’s level of education, qualification, working conditions, and the workload. The new scheme also introduced a new system of bonuses which are divided into compensation and stimulation.

TUESWK believes that new approaches to the pay system eliminates the disadvantages of the previous system, raises the level of teachers’ salaries and the prestige of the  teaching profession which will attract qualified graduates to the education sector. For example, by 1 September 2016 the average salary of all employees (including administrative staff) in the education sector in Kazakhstan has grown by 29% since 1 July 2015, while the increase of teachers’ salaries amounted to 43-66%.