Hiring talent in Georgia

Georgia (the country) offers a young, highly motivated, multi-lingual and well-educated workforce. Majority of the younger population speaks fluent English.

The average monthly salary amounts to USD 425, which includes blue-collar and white-collar employees. The unemployment rate is 12.7%. It is noteworthy that Georgian labor market offers a young workforce – 56% of the unemployed population is in the 20-40 age group. In addition, working permits are not required in Georgia and citizens of 98 countries can stay in the country without visa during the whole 1 year, this helps attract professional employees from other countries in the wider region.

Georgia has a very flexible Labor Code and according to the Heritage Foundation, Georgia ranks 20th globally in the Labor Freedom Index. Only one taxes payable based on a salary are the Personal Income Tax (flat 20%) and pension contribution 2%.

Employment

Permanent employees (full or part-time) are the most common type of employee. Permanent employees have the full set of employment rights and responsibilities and receive employment benefits – such as parental leave, parental leave payments, annual holidays, sick leave, etc. There may be small differences between full-time or part-time employees because of their work patterns.

Fixed-term (temporary)  employees (full or part-time) is the second most common type of employee. Employment  will end on a specified date or when a particular event occurs. A fixed-term employee might be someone who is brought in to replace another employee on parental leave, to cover a seasonal peak or to complete a project.

Seasonal employment  generally is a type of fixed-term employment where the employment agreement says that the work will finish at the end of the season. It’s commonly used in the fruit, vegetable, fishing and meat industries, for example, in a job picking apples when they ripen, after the work is completed (when all the apples are picked) the employer doesn’t need the workers and the fixed term ends. In some situations, seasonal employment can become a rolling fixed-term employment in which the employee is rehired at the start of every season

 

Part-time v. Full-time employees

Whether you’re considered to be part-time or full-time depends on how many hours you have to work. Employment legislation doesn’t define what full-time or part-time work is, but full-time work is often considered to be around 40 hours a week. You have exactly the same employment rights and responsibilities if you’re a part-time or full-time employee.

A full-time permanent employee might be someone working 10am to 7pm, five days a week (including 1 hour break). An example of a part-time permanent employee is someone who regularly works the same 3 days a week for eight hours each day, for a total of 24 hours a week.

Other important considerations for employment under labor law

Minimum Wage

There is no minimum wage amount prescribed under the labour law. Salaries and wages are subject to negotiation and agreement between the employer and employee.

Employment Term

Employment contracts can be concluded orally or in writing for definite or indefinite periods. If labour relations last for more than three months, the employment contract must be in writing.

Employment contracts shall be concluded for one year longer, except in those case when:
o A specific amount of work is to be performed.
o The seasonal work is to be performed.
o The amount of work has temporarily increased;
o An employee being temporarily absent from work due to suspended labour relations is replaced.
o Thereareotherobjective circumstances justifying conclusion of a fixed-term agreement.

Probation period for the job should not exceed 6 months.

Working hours

The working hours shall not exceed 40 hours a week

The working hours in enterprises with specific operating conditions requiring more than eight hours of uninterrupted production/work process must not exceed 48 hours a week.

Working time shall not include breaks and rest time.

Leave

Vacation period shall not be less than 24 working days annually. An employee may also enjoy an unpaid leave of at least 15 calendar days annually. Employees are entitled to be paid maternity leave of 183 calendar days. Maternity leave is paid from the sources of the Social Security Fund, but the employer and employee may agree on additional payment.

Termination

The labour law provides an exhaustive list of the grounds for terminations of employment contract. The employer may not terminate employment for any ground other than the ones provided in the labour law.

Severance Pay

Severance payment and notification term depends on the ground of termination of labour contract. The maximum of severance payment defined by Code equals two months salary of an employee. A labour agreement may not establish norms different from those provided for by the Labour Code that may deteriorate employees’ conditions.

What is the difference between the Employee and the Contractor? 

Employees

Contractors

An employee is a person employed to do any work for hire or reward under a contract of services (commonly called an employment agreement). The hire or reward is almost always a wage or salary.

Employees have all minimum employment rights under labour code

The employer must keep employee records such as their employees’ employment agreement, and wage, time, and holidays and leave records.

Self-employed people are sometimes referred to as contractors, or independent contractors; these terms mean the same thing. A contractor is engaged by a principal (the other party) to perform services under a contract for services (commonly called an independent contractor agreement).

Contractors are self-employed and earn income by invoicing the principal for their services. A contractor pays their own tax.

Contractors aren’t covered by most employment-related laws. This means they don’t get things like annual leave or sick leave, they have to pay their own tax, and general civil law determines most of their rights and responsibilities. Businesses don’t have to hold contractor records.

Volunteers

A volunteer is not an employee, so employment law does not apply to them. If the parties want a volunteer relationship, it’s important they make it clear that the worker does not expect payment and does not receive payment. Otherwise, the worker may be judged to be an employee and will be entitled to minimum entitlements. For example, they will have to be paid minimum wage and cannot be dismissed unless it is justified.

Work experience, short-term work trials and longer unpaid internships are increasingly common in some industries. If an employer does not want to pay somebody to do these roles they must make sure that the person is a volunteer.

Internships

Unpaid Internship 

If an employer is thinking of having somebody do an unpaid internship, or work experience, they should:

  • make absolutely clear that the position is a volunteer position and that the person does not expect payment or other reward. This should be done in writing.
  • make sure that the volunteer does not receive any payment.
  • avoid getting an economic benefit from the work done by the volunteer.
  • avoid having the volunteer do work which is integral to the business, such as work that an employee would ordinarily do.
  • limit the duration of work and the hours worked by the volunteer. The longer a person volunteers and the more hours they work, the more likely they are to be an employee.

Paid internship

If you are thinking of having a paid internship, you might be able to use a fixed-term agreement. However, you will still need a genuine reason for the fixed term.

All information, content, and materials presented are for general informational purposes only. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the information presented is hereby expressly disclaimed.


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