Relevance of Minimum Wage Policy
On November 4, 2016, the Public Defender of Georgia presented a survey on the relevance of minimal wage policy in the context of socio-economic development and international commitments to the members of Parliament, Government, Tbilisi City Council, representatives of diplomatic missions and non-governmental organizations.
The Public Defender's Office and the Trade Union of Georgia checked the subsistence minimum and minimal wage regulations of the county and developed recommendations within the joint project carried out by the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Unfortunately, the current Labor Code does not define the quantity of a minimum wage. According to the Presidential Decree of 1999, the minimum monthly wage is 20 GEL. According to the Presidential Decree of 2005, the minimum monthly wage of the executive government employees is 135 GEL. In both cases, the minimum monthly wage is lower than the subsistence minimum (the subsistence minimum of an adult, able-bodied male was 157.3 GEL as of September 2016), which cannot be considered fair and adequate payment.
According to the data of the Revenue Service, as of March 2016, 25 001 citizens of Georgia had salaries lower than 100 GEL, 62 681 people - lower than the subsistence minimum and 130 282 – lower than the family subsistence minimum. These figures make it clear that employees of Georgia cannot satisfy even their minimum needs with their wages.
Based on the experiences of other countries and international standards, the followingrecommendationswere worked out:
- The Parliament of Georgia should ratify the Convention N131 of the International Labour Organization (1970) concerning imposition of a minimal wage
- The Law of Georgia on the Labor Code of Georgia should be amended and the definition of a minimum wage should be provided in it
- A fair minimum wage should be defined based on a relevant survey. The Trade Union believes that the relativity of the minimum wage with the average wage should be taken into account during determining the amount of the minimum wage and it should be defined as at least 30% of the average wage
- The quantity of a minimum wage should be defined according to both working hours and months, in order to prevent reduction of part-time jobs
- The Law of Georgia on the Labor Code of Georgia should provide for a mechanism that would annually review the minimum wage in the country. This obligation should be imposed on a social partnership tripartite commission, which should develop recommendations and submit them to the Prime Minister, which will be obliged to annually define the quantity of a minimal wage based on the commission’s recommendations.
- Payment of the minimum wage should be controlled by the labour inspectorate, which must have the appropriate lever to reveal violations and use sanctions against them.