No mass lay-offs in Belarus until presidential elections
At the meeting with Labour and Social Protection Minister Marianna Shchetkina, the president said that the main task of large industrial enterprises was to preserve employment. Lay-offs is one of the key means to improve efficiency at state enterprises and increase their competitiveness within the existing economic model in Belarus. The state enterprises were willing to fulfil the government requirements and reduce employment in order to relieve excessive burden on their budgets. However, such steps may lead to increased social tension in society, which is unacceptable in the election year. The president therefore ordered the enterprises not to hold mass lay-offs until the presidential elections.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.