Employer protection bill clears first hurdle in Azerbaijani parliament

15 May 2013 12:27 (UTC+04:00)

By Gulgiz Dadashova

The Azerbaijani parliament passed a bill on the protection of employers' interests and regulation of check-ups on entrepreneurial activity in the first reading on Tuesday.

The bill was drafted jointly by the Ministries of Finance, of Economic Development and Justice, on the instructions of the President of Azerbaijan.

The bill is aimed at creating single rules of inspection of business activity and prevention of illegal interference with the work of entrepreneurs during inspections. The document also provides for the division of businesses into risk groups to reduce the number of check-ups.

The draft law defines the purpose and principles of the check-ups, which stipulate not penalties over violations of law committed by employers, but provision of the safety of life and health, property, environment and property interests of the state.

It reads that during inspections the division of businesses into risk groups is provided. Thus, businessmen who did not commit violations over a certain period of time are transferred into a lower risk group, which reduces the frequency of inspections.

The bill also envisages a ban on the coverage of audits in the media, including television channels, until the guilt of the entrepreneur is proven. It envisions a much shorter period for all the inspections, unlike the present one: 10 working days for large businesses and 5 working days for small and medium-sized ones.

Unplanned inspections will be carried out not at the request of the supervisory authority, but only in specific cases stipulated by the law. For example, they are possible if the decision to eliminate the violations revealed during the previous inspection was not fulfilled or it has become necessary to verify the enforcement of the decision to limit the activity of the entrepreneur.

The draft law also outlines the definition and approval of the list of agencies authorized to inspect businesses. In the future, it is planned to significantly reduce the number of inspecting bodies. Each inspecting body will create a hotline.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev introduced the bill on protecting the interests of employers on February 15.