AGREEMENT REACHED ON EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
30 May, 2013
AGREEMENT REACHED ON EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
An agreement is reached between Georgian authorities and businessmen in the field of employment contract terms of the draft labor code put under parliamentary procedures at the moment and scheduled to be approved by the end of the spring session.
The paragraph of the draft labor code obliging every company to enter a written contract for any labor relationship lasting more than 3 months was changed on a yearly term. However, after conclusion yearly contracts twice the third one must
be of the indefinite-term, Mikheil Kordzakhia, Director Executive of Employers’ Association of Georgia, informed Georgian Journal. According to him, actually business has been asking for conclusion no shorter than yearly contracts and none of the compulsory indefinite-term ones but government took into account only the first part of this demand and business accepted this partial consensus.
Many business associations [including the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia] and economic analysts disapproved the idea of conclusion labor contracts for 3-month-over labor relationships that created risks to unemployment growth, shadow labor deals and tax evasion – all believed to have a negative impact on the entire economy ultimately. Risks were bigger especially for small and medium enterprises for such a short-term contract obligation required enormous legal and administrative burden [scarcely affordable to petty fry] and baffled long-term business planning that smaller business would escape by reducing workforce and latent employment.
The short-term obligation was one of the top issues disputed by business in the new labor code draft worked out by new government early this year so as to mitigate the much criticized labor code operating in the country after liberal reforms of Rose Government holding the office since November of 2003 until October of 2012. The labor force defenders as well as EU found it of too pro-business and violating interests of employees. New government was supposed to amend the labor law to find the golden average but now business community finds its interests neglected. They claim the new draft labor law was worked out with no much inclusion of business sector and it clenches interests of business more than the European labor law does. The new draft split opinion even within the government. Vice Primer and Minister of Education of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, did not vote the said draft as he found it afflicting employers and called the project something in the spirit of Rosa Luxemburg. Later Primer himself, Bidzina Ivanishvili, shared his approach saying that “we should not lose the sense of reality and do remember that the biggest injustice in Georgia today is unemployment and if excessive rights are given to employees the result will be unemployment”. As an aftermath the bill for the labor code failed the first parliamentary hearing and the MPs worked with the non-governmental sector and business to make the bill more compromised for the new hearing scheduled this week tentatively. According to Kordzakhia they really took into account some of the business proposals but the key issues like the over-time work, dismissing of employers, mediation and many more still remain rigid that will affect both investments and employment rate and the economy at large.
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