Women Working in Azerbaijan
It is the norm in Azerbaijan for expatriate men to move here to work and for the women to come as spouses and look after the children and be stay at home moms and wives. However there are expat women who work in Azerbaijan too. One of the most popular jobs for expat women is teaching. There are a few schools, nurseries and universities that specialize in teaching the children of expats.
Statistically there are fewer women working in Azerbaijan then men and the women on average earn less then half of what the men earn. But things are getting better and the labour law has provisions that cover women specifically.
Expat women wanting to work in Azerbaijan should be familiar with these provisions and know their rights at all times.
Azerbaijan is a secular country, so while the majority of the population is Muslim, the law is secular and protects women in the work place. It has been culturally acceptable for women to stay at home, cook, clean, have babies and allow the man to be the bread winner, however in light of the economic downturn and change in the kind of government (communist/socialist/democratic) the constitution now protects anyone willing to work and it is stated in the constitution that “everyone has the right to work in safe and healthy conditions, to get remuneration for his/her work without any discrimination, not less than minimum wages rate established by the state.”
The Labour Code of Azerbaijan makes provisions for female employees and protects those employees who are pregnant, young mothers and mothers who have to look after their children may not be discriminated against. The following are the provisions from the Labour Code that protect these women.
Labour Code of Azerbaijan, article 125
Leave for the reason of pregnancy and childcare
The employed women shall have remunerative leave of 126 calendar days in total covering both pregnancy and post-pregnancy periods (70 calendar days before and 56 calendar days after delivery). In case of complicated delivery or birth of 2 or more children the post pregnancy leave shall be 70 calendar days.
Employment of Pregnant Women and Women with Young Children
Refusing to sign a labour contract with a woman who is pregnant or has a child under the age of three is prohibited by law.
Labour Code of Azerbaijan, article 240
It shall be prohibited to send pregnant women and women with child under 3 to night shifts or missions, to leave them for extra work or to call them to work on official days-off and holidays that are non-working days.
Upon request of women workers who are pregnant, or have children under age of 14, or have handicapped children under age of 16, or have to care for a sick family member, the employer has to give them part-time daily or weekly job with the pay based on their experience and seniority.
Labour Code of Azerbaijan, article 245
Additional Leave for Childcare
Women workers who have children under age one and a half year old shall be given breaks for feeding (breast feeding) of their children, in addition to their regular lunch and rest breaks. These additional breaks shall be at least 30 minutes and shall be given every 3 hours. If a woman worker has two or more children who are under age of one and a half years old the duration of such breaks shall be at least one hour.
Labour Code of Azerbaijan, article 244
Regardless of the amount of base and additional vacation time, working women with two children under the age of 14 shall be eligible for 2 additional calendar days of vacation time; while women with three or more children of this age or with a disabled child under the age of 16 shall be eligible for 5 additional calendar days of vacation time.
Labour Code of Azerbaijan, article 117
Azerbaijani is the language spoken throughout Azerbaijan and the places that employee expats do so for their expertise. This is why it is not practical to look for work as an expat in Azerbaijan unless you are a specialist in one of these fields. The most sought after positions in Azerbaijan for expats include engineers, teachers and experts in the hospitality industry.