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16 Dec 2020

Belarusian MPs pass amendments to laws on social standards, minimal salaries

Belarusian MPs pass amendments to laws on social standards, minimal salaries

MINSK, 16 December (BelTA) – The House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus has given the first reading to the bill on amending the laws on social standards and minimal salaries, BelTA has learned.

The Council of Ministers forwarded the bill to the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament on 1 October 2020. According to Oleg Semenchuk, Deputy Chairman of the Labor and Social Affairs Commission of the House of Representatives, the bill was put together in order to transition to the unified social standard (criterion) in the course of implementing the state policy on regulating living standards and in the course of implementing social security measures.

The bill adjusts the term “the main social and demographic groups of the population” and the procedures for establishing and revising the subsistence budget. It expands the sphere of application of the subsistence budget by clarifying how it is to be used for setting minimal state social and labor guarantees, the minimal size of alimony payments and other legal payments unrelated to the minimal state social and labor guarantees. The procedure for setting the minimal monthly salary is clarified.

The bill provides for scrapping the term “minimum consumer budget” and suggests using the subsistence budget and social demographic groups with regard to all the benefits, welfare, and other state guarantees, and criteria for providing state support to the population. The law will be more understandable for the population because ordinary people do not always clearly understand what the subsistence budget or the minimum consumer budgets are, the MP noted.

Apart from that, removing the “university students” group from the list of social and demographic groups has been suggested. “We don’t infringe their rights. University students can be of various ages these days. After getting vocational training you can get a university degree at any age. These days university students have the right to work, particularly those who opt for distance learning and evening classes. Every student should be considered on a case-by-case basis including orphan children, people with disabilities, or people belonging to any other category that requires social protection. We should work on it,” Oleg Semenchuk added.

A new procedure for calculating and approving the minimal salary has been introduced as well. “We suggest setting it at 30% of the next year’s nationwide nominal projected salary at least. The projected salary size is specified by the social and economic development forecast. The subsistence budget, its structure and content are calculated and approved every five years now. We would like to reduce it to three years in order to keep its structure up-to-date and in order to take into account current needs of the population,” the MP concluded.

 

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