High incomes are mostly seen in the oil-related sectors and especially in foreign companies. The legal work-week is 40 hours. In order to ensure that citizens enjoy healthy and safe working conditions, a Labor Protection Law was passed in Azerbaijan on 19 September 1992. According to the law, labor protection is defined as a system of socioeconomic, organizational, technical, sanitary, and hygienic measures and means designed to ensure the safety, health, and working capacity of persons engaged in work activities. However, these regulations are not strictly applied.
Azerbaijan is a participant of the International Labor Organization. A minimum wage, which is about US$3 per month, exists. This wage is not sufficient to provide a decent standard of living for a worker and family. The recommended monthly wage level to meet basic subsistence needs was estimated to be US$50 per person as of 1999. Since practically all persons who work earn more than the minimum wage, enforcing its low level is not a major issue in labor or political debate. According to the European Commission, the average monthly wage rate was about US$44 in September 2000.
The largest labor organization is the Azerbaijan Confederation of Trade Unions (or the Azerbaijan Labor Federation), which depends on government support. Its main functions are to promote employment, develop the labor market, support social insurance, ensure employee health and safety, enforce the legal regulation of labor relations, and provide social partnership. The constitution provides the right to strike. Unions are free to form federations and to affiliate with international bodies; but none have done so.