On September 29, the Parliament of Georgia finally adopted the labor reform with the third hearing.
While we explicitly approve of the labor guarantee improvements envisaged by the adopted reform for workers, the amendments only partly respond to the harsh working conditions in the country and are still far away from bringing real balance between the interests of employers and employees.
The most important change in the labor reform is the establishment of a robust labor inspection. From 1 January 2021, the Labor Inspectorate will be authorized to supervise practical implementation of all labor standards provided by the legislation of Georgia, which is a clear step forward in protecting the fundamental rights of workers.
We welcome the regulation of important areas such as break and leisure time, strengthening of anti-discrimination principles in labor relations, definition of the reasonable accommodation concept, introduction of legal framework for internships, establishment of mechanisms for enforcing agreements reached through labor mediation and others.
Despite the attempts to introduce regulatory framework for critical issues such as low and inadequate wages, unregulated working hours, overtime work and its inadequate remuneration, inadequate compensation for maternity and childcare leave, lack of possibilities for solidarity strike and determination of exhaustive grounds for termination of employment contract, lawmakers ultimately failed to show the political will to address these day-to-day problems of workers. The basic clauses, presented in the initial version with respect to the given issues, have been phased out of the reform in result of systemic pressure from the business sector.
The Fair Labor Platform will further continue to closely follow the implementation of the adopted reform and to advocate for incorporation of workers’ rights and needs in the labor law.
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC),
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
Health and Service Trade Union – Solidarity Network
Social Workers’ Union
Public Broadcaster Trade Union
Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
Independent Trade Union of the Transport Company ,,Ertoba 2013″