Comparative Analysis of Working and Rest Time Regulations in Georgia and European Union
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university, Faculty of social and political sciences
In 2014, the “Association Agreement” was signed between the European Union and Georgia, which aims at deepening political and economic relations between the parties. According to the Agreement, Georgia will approximate its legislation with EU law in different spheres, including decent working conditions. The “Association Agreement” has annexes, where there is a list of EU legal acts and Georgia has to gradually harmonize its legislation with these acts. The Labour Code of Georgia regulates labour and its concomitant relations in the territory of Georgia, unless they are otherwise governed by other special law (e.g. Public Service Law) or international agreements of Georgia. In 2006, within the frame of liberal social-economic policies, a new Labour Code was adopted, which significantly worsened the labour rights of employees. The process of elaboration of labour legislation should not be conducted only according to the wish to alleviate burden on business and ignore minimal safety and health requirements at work – this is against European values. In June 2013, significant amendments to the Labour Code were made, after which the labour relations between employer and employee became more balanced. Although, in order to approximate Georgian labour law with EU standards, there still are some legislative amendments to be made. In the research, special attention is paid to one of the central aspects of labour law – working and rest time. In Georgia, the upper limit of weekly working time (including overtime) is much higher than in EU member states; the employer is not obliged to ensure that, per each seven-day period, every worker is entitled to a minimum uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours; in relation to working and rest time, there are other discrepancies with EU standards. According to article 26 of the Constitution of Georgia, the right to safe working conditions and other labour rights shall be protected by the organic law; it is also mentioned that the freedom of enterprise shall be guaranteed. Therefore, it is important to keep an adequate balance between these two constitutional rights: the law governing labour rights should not impose an unbearable burden on the employer, which will hinder economic development and job creation; in the meantime, the government should ensure that the labour law will provide protection of health and safety at work according to the EU standards. In the research: a) EU Directives given in the “Association Agreement” and related to organization of working and rest time are studied; b) Several EU member states’ experience on transposition of relevant directives are studied; c) Comparative analysis of above mentioned legislation with Georgian labour law is conducted and recommendations are given to amend Georgian legislation on working and rest time.
Working time, Rest time, Leave, Labour rights, Association Agreement, სამუშაო დრო, დასვენების დრო, შვებულება, შრომითი უფლებები, ასოცირების შეთანხმება