Reducing the number of lazybones

According to data of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, on average, Belarusians search for a job every 4.8 months

According to data of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, on average, Belarusians search for a job every 4.8 months. However, there are also those for whom employment departments are like a second home. Those registered as unemployed for years or being in work for only one or two months, receive social allowances and aren’t even aware of what it means to work honestly. Now, the so called ‘professionally unemployed’ have a harder time: since September 23rd, a new law on employment has come into force. For those who really search for jobs, this innovation won’t affect them in any way and employment departments are always eager to help them. However, those who deliberately avoid work will struggle.

At Minsk career fair

53-year-old Anatoly doesn’t hide the fact that he doesn’t want to work. He is disgusted by the fact that he was struck off the unemployment list after two unjustified refusals from offers of the employment department. Anatoly has taken free education, sent by the employment service and received a new profession but doesn’t want to go to work. What comes next? “It makes no difference to me,” he says. “I will live on my mother’s pension and then become registered on an unemployment list again.”

Such stories aren’t uncommon. The pseudo-unemployed are present in each employment department, diligently appearing once in three months to receive another job placement. They have evaded tax and have even received social allowances.

“Our whole system of employment assistance is built on the human desire to find employment as quickly as possible,” believes Oleg Tokun, the Head of the Employment Policy Department at the Labour and Social Protection Ministry. “It’s clear that citizens who are registered with employment departments without an aim to become employed aren’t interested in this. They are keen on the status of being unemployed and, as a result, receiving various social allowances. Therefore, innovations in the current law on employment will stimulate them towards a more active job search and will reinforce the responsibility of job seekers and employers for non-observation of legislation.”

The new law will have an article that will clearly stipulate the range of citizens’ obligations regarding their job search. Now, an unemployed person should inform the labour, employment and social protection bodies of the results of their independent searches, they should appear at the employment service at least once a month, attend on their invitation to receive a job placement or an appointment for professional training. The most important thing is that a job seeker must get in touch to meet with potential employers two working days after the receipt of a job placement.

One more innovation is in the clear definition of obligations during free professional training, organised by the employment service. The requirements are simple: one needs to observe the rules of internal regulations and to have a responsible attitude towards the training process as state money is being spent on professional preparation, the enhancement of qualifications and training courses. Nevertheless, the new law clearly regulates responsibility for its violation. Variants can be different: the suspension of unemployment payments for a period of one to three months, the reduction of the payment by 50 percent and the reduction of the scholarship by 25 percent.

Employment departments are eager to launch these innovations: the number of ‘eternal’ job seekers will significantly fall. Changes in the law on employment are logical: time wasters will have to take the matter in hand. The new law has no issues for those who are keen to find a job, while the amendments will make the previously easy life of ‘professional lazybones’ much more difficult.

By Olga Savitskaya
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