Labor inspectorate coming soon in Georgia
15 May, 2014
Labor inspectorate coming soon in Georgia
Labor inspectorate is planned to be set up in Georgia but the government cannot specify details on the upcoming structure or when this inspection will be established. The Ombudsman of Georgia repeatedly appealed to the government to accelerate the creation of a labor inspectorate. The Ombudsman initiated the issue in July last year after the new labor code had been adopted. Despite the changes, the new code left the issues of labor security and healthcare open. According to the Ombudsman’s
office, the labor code stipulates that an employer is obliged to provide a safe labor environment, but no paragraph elaborates on what sanctions an employer may face if this obligation is breached, the 2013 annual report of the Ombudsman states. The same report also admits that there is no coherent national policy on labor, healthcare and labor conditions, and no control is implemented either.
Georgia is the only member among the 182 member-states of the International Labor Organization that has no labor inspectorate or any other structure with equal functions, they say. Meanwhile, 150 people died and 531 were injured at their workplaces within the last four years. To regulate this issue properly and to fill the legislative gap, the Ombudsman called upon the Georgian government several times to set up a Labor Inspectorate but no palpable success is achieved as of yet. As Paata Zhorzholiani, Head of the Labor and Employment Department at the Ministry of Labor, Social and Healthcare of Georgia, is reported saying to, the Washington Labor Departments has already allocated due sums to put a Labor Inspectorate in place. His department has already worked out a proper bill that will be sent to the other ministries for discussion and very likely a draft will be put under parliament procedures by the fall session.
“At the moment we cannot specify what the mandate this Labor Inspectorate will be or which monitoring mechanism it will use,” Zhorzholiani said. Tentatively two functions of the labor inspectorate are being discussed at the moment: the monitoring of safety conditions at enterprises and the monitoring of labor relationships and implementation of the law.
Mikheil Kordzakhia, Vice President of the Employers Association of Georgia, acknowledges that security is a problem at certain enterprises but not everywhere. He agrees that the state must monitor this, but should differentiate between the risky and safe enterprises.
“Security issues emerge mainly at construction sites, mines, exploring works etc., but not at every enterprise. Therefore, there should be a differentiation between which enterprise can be subjected to the monitoring and which cannot,” Kordzakhia said in an interview with Georgian Journal. However, he completely disagrees with the opinion to monitor the implementation of labor relationships. Kordzakhia believes that the law already regulates them and that no redundant body must undertake this function.
Irakli Lekvinadze, an economic analyst, disapproves of the idea of a labor inspectorate. He believes it will be a redundant burden to businesses. According to him, the employer and employee had better to regulate their relationship independently without the interference of any other structure. “If there is a problem employees can solve it through the Trade Union and no extra regulatory body is necessary,” he said.

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