Public Defender’s Statement on International Workers' Day
May 1 is the International Workers' Day, which marks the historic struggle of workers around the world and symbolically highlights the need to provide decent working conditions for the employees.
Every year, a number of people apply to the Public Defender's Office due to labour rights violations. A lot of people have been discriminated against and relevant recommendations have been issued. Challenges in terms of realization of labour rights are discussed in detail in our parliamentary report and all relevant agencies have been provided with recommendations on how to rectify the problems.
The challenges relating to women's labour rights are especially noteworthy. Although some positive changes were made to the Labour Code in 2021, enjoyment of pregnancy, childbirth and childcare leave remains a major challenge.
Due to the above, the Public Defender of Georgia filed a constitutional complaint with the Constitutional Court of Georgia and demanded the repeal of the norms of Article 39 of the Labour Code, which provide for only one-time payment of no more than GEL 1000 for the paid pregnancy, childbirth and childcare leave and the possibility of additional payment on the basis of additional remuneration between the employer and the employee.
According to the constitutional claim, the current regulation of the Labour Code contradicts Article 11 of the Constitution of Georgia (right to equality), Article 26 (right to work) and Article 30 (rights of mothers and children). The amount of mandatory assistance is problematic due to its insufficiency. The formal regulation of parental leave pay is also problematic, the realization of which depends on the good will of the employer. Under these conditions, it becomes impossible for women to take maternity leave in the private sector.
We hope that the Constitutional Court of Georgia will share the arguments presented in our constitutional claim, declare the current regulation of Article 39 of the Labour Code unconstitutional and provide a proper opportunity for the protection of the rights of women and children in Georgia.