Meeting with the Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population, Mr. Sahil Babayev

Along with the protection of employment, one of the positive socio-economic factors was the fact that the growth rate in employment contracts continued, even during the pandemic, and the vast majority of this growth was in the private sector. At the same time, it shows the important role of entrepreneurs in accelerating the transition from informal to formal employment in the country, and therefore there are high expectations from them in this area.

This was stated by Minister of Labor and Social Protection Sahil Babayev at a webinar with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan ("AmCham Azerbaijan").

President of AmCham Azerbaijan Nuran Karimov said that the Chamber is following the social reforms with interest. He said such meetings provided an opportunity for the ministry and the private sector to exchange views and information on labor market reforms.

Babayev stressed that the state consistently supports the development of entrepreneurship in all areas as one of the priorities of President Ilham Aliyev's successful socio-economic development strategy. As a positive result, the role of the private sector in the national economy is growing.

Noting the measures to support employment and social welfare during the pandemic, Babayev said that a total of 4.8 million people or 48 percent of the population were covered by these measures, and entrepreneurs were provided with state support.

He noted that at the same time, a successful experience was formed in our country in the protection of employment, as well as the close participation of entrepreneurs in social actions related to vulnerable groups, support for public policy, solidarity from the position of social responsibility. From this position, entrepreneurs, including companies that are members of AmCham Azerbaijan, can make a more active contribution in the future in the process of preventing informal employment and further reducing the shadow economy.

Speaking about measures to combat informal employment, Babayev said that in addition to taking measures in this area, effective mechanisms are applied to stimulate the transition to formal employment. Raising the minimum wage, a number of tax incentives, simplification of tax procedures, support for entrepreneurs during the pandemic, as well as another socio-economic support these days, reduction of mandatory state social insurance rates, etc. are visual examples of this.

The Minister noted that the functional capabilities of the "Employment Contract Notification" subsystem have been increased, and important information and warnings for employers have been placed in the subsystem. He stressed the importance of the "Employment" subsystem for employers, and recommended that AmCham Azerbaijan member companies make the most of these innovative opportunities to meet the needs of the workforce.

Noting the reforms in the field of labor and employment, Babayev said that the reforms pay special attention to cooperation with entrepreneurs based on social dialogue, and this factor is important for achieving goals in the development of the labor market in general.

The members of the Chamber were also informed about the new issues arising in the labor market, the work carried out to improve the labor legislation in connection with the new forms and approaches to labor relations, the proposed amendments to the Labor Code.

US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger praised the work done in Azerbaijan in the fight against the pandemic, protection of public health, measures to support the economy and social welfare during the pandemic. He praised the state's support for entrepreneurship in our country, as well as the importance of cooperation with entrepreneurs and social dialogue in the reforms in the field of labor and employment.

Members of the Chamber stressed the importance of such meetings. The meeting continued with an exchange of views on reforms in the field of labor and employment, improvement of labor legislation, expressed views and suggestions. The Minister answered the questions of the members of the Chamber.

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4 June 2020
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