I work as a Junior Frontend Dev in an IT company for two months (Kazakhstan). That's my first job. My monthly salary is currently 100 000 KZT. Resignation notice period is one month. If I violate it by no matter how many days, the penalty is 1 000 000 KZT (as stated in the employment contract).

I am not yet resigning, but I want to be ready if I do because I am a college student. Is it normal to have this much penalty? Every employee here has the same fixed penalty (one million KZT) no matter what their salary is (even if it's 500 000 KZT) and no matter what their role as a developer is.

In my opinion it should depend on your role, significance, salary, and on how much you worked after noticing, but it's just fixed. Any advice about my situation is welcome

  • 13
    A simple solution is to not violate things you sign.
    – novafluff
    Aug 11, 2022 at 11:52
  • 6
    What exactly is the question here? What it implies? If it's legal? If it's common? If it's renegotiable? If it's possible to get out of it?
    – Philipp
    Aug 11, 2022 at 12:21
  • If the terms of your contract directly conflict with Kazakhstan law, then the law will take precedence. Are there any such conflicts in your existing contract?
    – IDDQD
    Aug 11, 2022 at 17:16
  • I have a huge penalty if I violate the resignation notice period. What should I do about it? - Don't violate it. Your opinion is irrelevant. The law is what matters.
    – joeqwerty
    Aug 11, 2022 at 18:05

3 Answers 3


A few point to consider:

  1. You can find the full labor code at https://adilet.zan.kz/eng/docs/K1500000414 . Some good summaries are at https://shieldgeo.com/employment-in-kazakhstan/ and https://www.ilo.org/ifpdial/information-resources/national-labour-law-profiles/WCMS_158909/lang--en/index.htm
  2. Overall the labor laws look decent and reasonable with good employee protection. I don't know, however, if they are applied consistently.
  3. If you have a specific legal question, your best bet is to ask a local labor lawyer.
  4. The notice period is one month. I didn't find a mention of a penalty for leaving earlier but 10 times the monthly salary sounds very unreasonable.
  5. One month is fairly normal. All future employers will know that you'll have a one month notice period so there should not be any problem serving the notice period as per your contract. Just do it.
  6. If you need a shorter notice period, you can always ask. If both parties agree, you can set the notice period to whatever you want. That's fairly normal in countries that have unreasonably long notice period (3 months or more).
  7. You should have asked this question BEFORE you signed the contract. Lesson learned: read a contract before you sign it. Clarify all things you don't understand and don't sign it if you are not willing to do what it says.
  8. While you may be able to challenge a penalty your safest course of action would be to plan on serving the notice period as stated in your contract and than maybe try to negotiate a shorter one through a mutual agreement.
  • 3
    (Not that it really matters but the penalty is 10x the monthly salary, not 10x the yearly one - "My monthly salary is currently 100 000 KZT", "the penalty is 1 000 000 KZT") Aug 11, 2022 at 13:14

Whether it's "normal" or not, as long as it's legal in your location and you agreed to it by signing the contract, then you are obligated to either follow the notice requirements or pay the penalty.

I agree with you that it seems to be extremely high but again, if that's what you agreed to then that's what it is.

  • Just because it is in a contract doesn't mean it is legal. A payment of ten monthly salaries with no proven damages is quite possibly illegal.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 11, 2022 at 12:07
  • 2
    That's why I added the "as long as it's legal..." part of the answer. But just because the penalty is large doesn't necessarily make it illegal.
    – jwh20
    Aug 11, 2022 at 12:57

Very few people would know enough about the laws of Kazakhstan, so that is difficult. We also don't know what your contract means by "violating the resignation notice period". In that situation in the UK, you could give one month notice and the employer would have to accept it. Or you could give two weeks notice and the employer has the right to either accept or reject it, but in either case you haven't violated anything. Or you could give eight weeks notice, in which case the employer can either accept it or give you a shorter notice (say six weeks or a month) which you would have to accept. No violation of anything so far.

Once you have given notice and your last working day is set, you'd have to work until and including that last day. Your employer has the right (in the UK) to just send you home doing nothing, or to lay you off, but they have to pay your salary for the notice period. If you stopped working earlier than allowed, you would be violating your notice period.

It may be illegal in Kazakhstan to try to charge you more than the actual proven damages. It would be illegal in the UK and in EU countries. But whether it is indeed illegal or not, I don't know.

Your next contract, read it, remove whatever you don't like. Don't sign nonsense like this.

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