Labor Code and Civil Service Reform
07 February, 2013
Labor Code and Civil Service Reform
The current labor code was designed for employers and gives very few - almost no - rights to workers. The idea was that any rights to workers would be to the disadvantage of employers, and would discourage them from hiring. There is some logic to this. In several places in the world, most famously in parts of Western Europe and the Arab world, it is so administratively burdensome to fire workers, that businesses worry a great deal about hiring new
people. For a country that has so many people without jobs, this is a real danger for Georgia.


The American attitude tends to be more employer friendly than the European attitude which is more worker friendly. For that reason (and some others), the US tends to have fewer people out of work than Western Europe. The American attitude is that employers or owners know what they need and should have the right to hire and fire at will. But there are other focuses of labor law. In most of America, the right to join unions is guaranteed, and most will admit that Georgia's previous government actively prevented people from collective organizing and joining unions. Also US worker safety laws are very strict. Yet even in Georgia's new draft law, worker safety is not addressed well. Workers should never be required to be in danger in order to keep their jobs and this happens frequently in Georgia now.


At the same time, in the birzha and in the press, there is discussion about all the firings happening in state entities. Some ministries, Legal Entities of Public Law (LEPLs), and local government entities are firing a great number of people, some are firing fewer. The previous government never really had a comprehensive set of rules for the civil service, and never passed civil service reform. They simply couldn't agree. On the one hand, they had a general libertarian ideological view that the government should employ as few people as possible, but at the same time realized the political value of being able to hand out jobs. Towards the end they even set up Ministry of Jobs, certainly a strange move for those who used the language of libertarianism. What is needed now is for there to be a comprehensive view on how many government employees there can be and when and how they can be hired and by who.


This is not an easy question for a government. The old government fired everybody and brought in their friends. In many cases they brought in good people, in other cases the people they brought in should not have been given jobs. The same thing is happening now and it is natural without a set of rules to prevent it. It was very similar to the situation with judges. Before all the judges were replaced by the previous government, they constantly talked about corruption in the judiciary. After they had replaced every single one, at precisely that point they started talking about judicial independence.
In the end the new draft employment law is written thinking of big businesses. It is small businesses and very small businesses that will employ most people in Georgia and an overly strict labor law will discourage small businesses from starting and will discourage them from hiring people they aren't related to, people who may later take them to court. In fact the whole concept of labor law is focused towards large employers, factories and that sort of thing, of which there are few in Georgia.
People get things other than money from jobs. It is common for people to work for free or even to pay for internships at banks or some other types of businesses simply so they can get some experience. Much higher education around the world has little to do with what you actually need on the job. A labor law should be flexible related to learning on the job.


The need to create jobs is important. Not so important that workers should have no rights, but we need to think carefully of small business owners, those with only one, three, or five employees. They are the ones that need the most help. Those who will pass this new law, who are they representing? If they pass this new restrictive labor law, who will say "we got what we want"? Certainly lawyers that will be able to represent unhappy workers will be happy about it. If there are fewer jobs afterwards, or less competitive hiring, nobody will be able to trace it back to this. Proceed carefully.

SEE GEORGIAN VERSION

Print
Other Stories
The two sides of Georgia
On my first few days in Tbilisi, I stumbled across these two contrasting slogans. One is a testimony of open-mindedness and tolerance,
Mentally Ill or Not?
“The brain is wider than the sky.” Emily Dickinson.
Shall We Dance?
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Friedrich Nietzsche.
Are We the Same or Just Getting Better?
Georgian-born Mancho Busse has been working in hospitality business for many years by now. Her husband, Robin Busse, works for the State Department of The United States,
Eco-Friendly Habits: How to Clean Your Off-Roading Vehicle Responsibly
Irresponsible waste disposal practices continue to have drastic effects on the environment.
 5 Techniques for Finding Your Inner Creativity
Whether you’re a writer, artist, or even a marketing executive, you’ve probably had days where you felt completely uninspired.
A suitcase full of wine and a heart full of memories
I left Switzerland and arrived in Tbilisi on December 28.
Five Reasons to Visit Georgia in 2017
If you've been searching for a unique place to vacation in 2017, the beautiful country of Georgia holds some hidden treasures.
PROMISING FUTURE OF COLLABORATION
“All roads lead to Rome” – states one of the most famous medieval proverbs. It’s fascinating to think how much the narrow streets and glorious walls of this eternal city have seen.
It’s Not So Bad, Chaps- Just Look at the Yanks: Ogden on Comparable Politics
Electoral fever is dying down in Georgia as it ramps up in the United States.
 “Moral Inversion” - Pre-election period in Georgia
Georgian pre-election period can be classified as “Moral Inversion”, a notion first put forward by Michael Polanyi.
America’s Trump Card
Like it or not, the name of the 45th American President will most likely be Donald Trump.
Clock is not counting down, it is adding up!
On Saturday for the ceremony in Charleston, instead of wedding gifts, the Managing Editor of Georgian Journal, Will Cathcart
A Protectionist Perspective: Ensuring A Georgian Future
Unlike many of my compatriots, I view my country as a sentient creature, a single organism. The mountains
Back in BSSR
"I remember that when I was a schoolgirl, they told us we have to be ready to give our lives for the motherland.
Thank you, father, for saving me from USSR!
On the 11th of October, the population of Belarus has elected Alexander Lukashenko to serve his fifth term
The EU Getting Squeezed in Georgia
Recent polls have shown that the EU is less and less popular in Georgia. The reason is that they
What is Georgia’s Military For?
There are two possible uses for Georgia’s military. The first would be to fight a war with an external threat or by its existence, to deter
Protohack
Last weekend I went to a hackathon in San Francisco called Protohack. In the former Soviet Union, people tend to think of hacking
European Migrant Crisis: The good, the bad and the liar
“I call an animal, a species, an individual corrupt, when it loses its instincts, when it prefers what is injurious
Refugees in Georgia
The people of Syria see the Assad regime weakening, and considering who may take over and what they might
David and Goliath: A Realpolitik Rendition
A Conservative Contrarian View on Georgia’s Geopolitical Dilemma
The Bleeding of Rustavi 2 - Our New August Surprise
When the powerful have to make something happen that they want few people to notice, they issue the statement late in the afternoon
The Good Neighbor
In 2012, Georgia was promised to witness what ex-Prime Minister Ivanishvili called “a new age.” It would be achieved by “restarting”
Independence, Institutions and Corruption
People talk about Georgia choosing between Russia and the West as if Georgia ended up at a soccer game and, well, since we’re here we may
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
12.11.2018
13.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.7146
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0800
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.5325
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0430
4.0131
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30