Labor Relations and Social Protection During the Pandemic - Report on Georgia

11 Dec, 2020
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The report is prepared within the framework of the project, “Labor Rights During the Pandemic” implemented by the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) with the support of the Open Society Georgia Foundation.

This report aims to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis on formally and informally employed workers and to analyze labor policies, legislation, and institutions in this context. The purpose of the report is also to analyze and evaluate the government’s social protection system, as well as the effectiveness of the government’s
emergency anti-crisis measure on the background of the increased needs due to the pandemic.

The report discusses the forms and causes of violations of the rights of employees in the formal sector during the pandemic and provides a legal assessment of these
violations. The report also addresses the specific challenges faced by informally employed people beyond social and labor protection. Finally, the report reviews the reasons why the Georgian population has been gravely unprepared for the pandemic crisis, and why the government has not found the respective instruments for labor policy and social protection to respond effectively to the current crisis.

The report is divided into five chapters. The first chapter presents the main findings of the report. The second chapter deals with the impact of the crisis on formally employed workers and analyzes the widespread practices of rights violations and the failures of labor legislation, institutions, and policies in the context of massive rights violations. Chapter three surveys the structure of informal employment in Georgia, the social and economic vulnerability of informal workers, and the resulting dire consequences of negligence by the state for years.

The fourth chapter assesses the anti-crisis measures taken by the state in regards to social protection and analyzes the shortcomings of the existing social protection system in light of the crisis, which, on the one hand, led to unpreparedness and insecurity of the population in the first place, and on the other hand, left the government without any effective instruments to ensure vital social protection. The last and fifth chapter is devoted to general recommendations on legislative and institutional reforms.