May 1 - International Workers' Day

May 1 is International Workers' Day. This day symbolizes the continuous struggle of workers for decent working conditions.

In Georgia, as in many other countries, workers continue to struggle to ensure decent and safe working conditions. Disproportionately low pay for a decent life remains a challenge in the country. According to the official statistical data of the Revenue Service, in the first quarter of 2024, 24,984 individuals received wages lower than the subsistence minimum, inter alia, 6,621 people received less than GEL 100 (taxes including). About 127,000 workers are paid less than 60% of the average monthly wage.[1]

In 2023-2024, the Public Defender of Georgia revealed that the employment contracts of persons employed in cultural institutions established by some municipalities do not meet the requirements of the Labour Code and unreasonably restrict the right of employed workers to enjoy paid leave.[2]

In addition, there are cases of restricting the right to work of persons employed in long-term care facilities for older people. The proper realization of the labour rights of convicts employed in the penitentiary institution is also a challenge. The Public Defender of Georgia urged the Labour Inspection Service to respond to the mentioned cases.

Alleged discrimination in labour relations is still a challenge. In 2023, the Public Defender considered cases related to violations of the rights of trade unions and their members by employers and alleged discrimination on the grounds of trade union membership. Taking into account the problematic trends, on September 4, 2023, the Public Defender addressed the Advisory Board of the Chief Labour Inspector of the Labour Inspection Service with a number of recommendations. Inter alia, he called for the development of guidelines for the prevention of discrimination on the grounds of trade union membership. In addition, it is significant that the Public Defender considered the cases of persons involved through all three platforms (Bolt, Glovo, Wolt) and established the relevant legal standards.

In addition, in 2023, the Public Defender filed the opinions of the friend of the court relating to the cases of discrimination based on age and different opinions, and provided the court with tests/standards for detecting alleged discrimination in labour relations, the rule of distribution of the burden of proof in discrimination cases, and the practices of various international institutions.

Realization of the right to work of persons with disabilities, promotion of their competitiveness and employment in the open labour market remain problematic. In addition, according to the labour legislation, the regulation of issue of paid leave for pregnancy, childbirth and child care depends on the will of the private employer, which the Public Defender of Georgia considers unconstitutional.[3] In this regard, the introduction of paid maternity leave for public school teachers from January 1, 2023 is welcome.

The socio-economic development of the country should include the progressive strengthening of human rights standards, one of the indicators of which is the harmonization of domestic legislation with international legal acts. In this direction, it is important to plan and timely implement the process of joining the hitherto unrecognized norms of the European Social Charter, especially the mandatory recognition of those articles of the European Social Charter that ensure the right of employees to safe and healthy working conditions, fair remuneration for work, and creation of an additional guarantee regarding the protection of employed women’s right to motherhood.[4]

The Public Defender of Georgia calls on all responsible bodies to take effective steps to properly realize the labour rights of all employees.

[1] Information is available at

[2] See the proposal of the Public Defender of Georgia

[3] See Constitutional lawsuit No. 1698 of the Public Defender of Georgia of May 6, 2022 against the Parliament of Georgia, available at:

[4] Article 3, Article 4 (1) and Article 8 (1) (2) of the European Social Charter.

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