Employee relations are based on an agreement between the employee and the employer on the performance of the employee’s labor function and the provision of the necessary conditions and remuneration by the employer. Employee relations in KPO are regulated by the Labor Code of the Republic of Qazaqstan. If the terms of the employment agreement are not observed by both the employee and the employer, there are risks of human rights violation such as: the right to work in just and favorable conditions, protection against unemployment, the right to equal pay for equal work, the right to just and favorable remuneration, the right to form and to join trade unions to protect their interests, the right to reasonable limitation of working hours and paid leave.
Engagement with trade unions
Collective bargaining is essential in the Company. Trade unions play a key role in supporting and protecting employees’ rights. Trade unions develop draft Collective Agreements addressing various aspects of social and labour relations and bargain with the Company to improve working conditions of the employees. Three Trade Union represent the interests of employees:
- Public Association «Local Trade Union of KPO employees»;
- Public Association «Karachaganak Local Professional Union of KPO employees and contractors»;
- Public Association «Local Trade Union of Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. employees and contractor companies «TRUST».
Trade unions develop a draft Collective Agreements addressing various aspects of social and labour relations and lead negotiations with the Company. At the end of 2021, the trade unions and the employer signed a new Collective Agreement for the period 2022-2024. Provisions of the Collective Agreement are applied to all KPO employees regardless of their membership in the Trade Unions.
In accordance with the Collective agreement, KPO has the obligation to raise a minimum two month (8 weeks) notice to Trade Unions in case of liquidation of the Company with subsequent reduction in staff, system or amount of remuneration leading to deprivation of employees’ conditions.
At the present time KPO has a few grievance mechanisms: applications to HR Controllership either directly or through Trade Union, and via the anonymous Hotline.
In 2021, HR received 97 grievances and applications. The received grievances addressed such issues as labour misconduct, employment, conflict resolution, abuse of power, misconduct with contractor employees. All received grievances were reviewed and resolved, including in the pre-trial procedure and at the stage before the cases consideration in the Conciliation Commission.
Voluntary Dissolution of Employment Relationship
The Company supports the application of the Voluntary Dissolution of Employment Relationship Programme as part of the Collective Agreement and pursuant to the RoQ Labour Code dated 2017 (Art. 52). In 2021, 43 KPO employees applied for the voluntary dissolution of labour relations (43 employees in 2020, 42 employees in 2019, 24 employees in 2018 and 45 employees in 2017).
In order to optimize costs, increase efficiency and maintain the Company’s competitiveness, in the end of 2021 the Company repeated the experience of Programme for Voluntary Dissolution of Employment Relations. In 2021, 20 applications were approved under this programme.
To avoid violations of the rights of contractors and subcontractors employees monitoring and analysis of the situation in work collectives are regularly carried out in order to reveal and correct potential factors, as well as causes and conditions resulting in social and economic violations, impairment of employees’ legal rights. The causes of such risks can be lack of acceptable social and living conditions and non-observance of legal regulations by contractors and subcontractors.
In the process of inspections of violations of human/employee rights KPO makes efforts to ensure comprehensive and timely review of claims/reports, as well as to resolve issues in due time. During considerations, views of all sides are taken into account and analysed, and possible measures are taken to protect and restore employment rights in accordance with the RoQ legislation and the Company’s procedures.
The operational targets at the Karachaganak field and activities for the implementation of the projects for further enhancement are mainly carried out with participation of contractor companies. Thus, successful fulfilment of the set targets and achievement of process performance depends on how balanced labour relations are both in KPO and in collectives of the involved contractors and subcontractors.
In 2021, Industrial Relations personnel carried out 177 trips and visited 260 work sites and camps. Also, 19 joint audits were conducted.
In 2021, 19 complaints from contractor employees on various issues were received and closed. Social and living conditions were inspected: work places, catering facilities etc. Following the results of monitoring, audits and considerations of the received applications of 43 contractors coordinated by Industrial Relations Section, measures for improvement of accommodation and labour conditions were taken. That, in its turn, had a positive effect on maintaining stable moral and psychological climate in the working collectives.
As part of support of local providers of goods and services at the Karachaganak field, from the end of 2020 KPO facilitated the implementation of mandatory PCR-testing of contractors’ personnel in accordance with the requirements for ensuring sanitary and restrictive measures. During 2021 the Company continued full reimbursement of these costs at its own expense.
Also, the Company provided support in increasing the number of vaccinated contractors’ personnel as a leader and positive example.