Global HR Compliance in Georgia
If you hire an international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in Georgia Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.
When the company is planning to enter a new foreign market of Georgia and has a need to employ a local national there, the first question to answer is how it is going to make local hires.
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Hiring and Firing Workforce in Georgia Guide
# Employment contracts
According to the labor legislation of Georgia, the employment contract is drawn up in written or oral form for a certain or indefinite period, as well as with the established terms for performing the work.
The employment contract, concluded in writing, must be concluded in a language understood by the parties. If a written employment contract is made in more than one language, it must contain an indication of an agreement on which contract language (s) should be given priority in case of differences in the provisions of contracts.
Application of an employee and a document issued by the employer on the basis of an application for confirmation his desire to employ an applicant is tantamount to signing an employment contract.
The employer is obliged to issue a notification letter at the request of the employee with the indication of the data on the work performed by the employee, his remuneration and the duration of the employment contract.
In the employment contract, it can be stated that internal contracts will be included in the contract. In this case, before the signing of the employment contract, the employer should familiarize the employee with all internal rules (if any) and with any changes in relation to these rules.
If more than one employment contract is entered into with the employee, but each of these contracts contains additional information on other contracts, they are all valid and are treated as one contract.
The previous contract is valid until its terms are changed by the next contract.
If more than one contract concerning same terms is concluded with one person, contract concluded later takes priority.
# Minimum (Statutory) Employment Rules and Regulations in Georgia
# Hours of work:
If not otherwise provided by a contract, the working time set by an employer during which an employee fulfills work shall not exceed 41 hours per week. Working time does not include a break and rest time. The duration of rest time between working days (shifts) shall not be less than 12 hours. Shift work and transfer from one shift to another are governed by a shift schedule approved by an employer in view of the specifics of the work. An employee shall be notified about any change in the shift schedule 10 days ahead of time unless it is impossible to do so due to extreme business necessity.
# Probation period:
In order to ascertain the capacity of an applicant to carry out a job, by mutual agreement of the parties, a labor contract for a probation period can be concluded with an applicant only once, provided that the probation period does not exceed 6 months. A labor contract for a probation period can only be concluded in writing, in other cases, a contract of this kind will be considered to be a labor contract.
During the probation period the employer shall be authorized to conclude a labor contract with the applicant, or to terminate the labor contract concluded for a probation period. In case of termination of a labor contract concluded for a probation period, employee’s work will be reimbursed in accordance with working hours.
# Annual leave:
An employee should be entitled to paid leave the minimal duration of which should be 24 calendar days per year. Also an employee should be entitled to unpaid leave the minimal duration of which should be 15 calendar days per year. An employee’s right to claim a leave arises eleven months after starting work for an organization. By agreement of the parties, an employee may be granted a leave even prior to the expiration of the said term. Beginning from the second year of work, by agreement of the parties, an employee may be granted a leave at any time of the year. By agreement of the parties, an annual leave may be distributed throughout the year.
# Parental leave:
An employee, upon request, is entitled to a total maternity leave of 477 calendar days to cover pregnancy, delivery and child care. Of pregnancy, maternity and child care leave, 126 calendar days will be paid, while in case of a complicated delivery or if mother gives a birth to two or more infants – 140 calendar days of paid leave will be granted. The leave envisaged by the item 2 of this Article may be utilized by an employee during both the pregnancy and postpartum periods. During the five years following the birth of a child, the employee, upon her/his request, shall have the right to an additional 12 weeks of unpaid child care leave. Child care leave can be taken either all at once or incrementally, but not less than 2 weeks of leave should be used per year. A leave for child care shall be granted to any person actually taking care of the child.
# Sick leave:
In Georgia, employers are not required to provide employees with sick leave, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
An employer in Georgia may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Overtime employment is when the duration of a job carried out by an employee exceeds the time of fulfillment of a job determined by the labor contract. If working time is not determined by the contract, the working time exceeding 41 hours per week is considered to be overtime. Or, if according to the business trip, an employer causes an employee to temporarily change a workplace for more than 41 hours, it is considered to be overtime. Conditions for overtimes can be determined by agreement between parties.
# State minimum salary:
Georgia’s state minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour. This is the same as the current Federal Minimum Wage rate. The minimum wage applies to most employees in Georgia, with limited exceptions including tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations.
The Georgia minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $0.70 from $6.55 to $7.25. Georgia’s minimum wage rate is linked to a Consumer Price Index, which is intended to raise the rate along with inflation.
# Employee dismissal:
The grounds for termination of labor relations can be:
- Fulfillment of a job stipulated in the contract;
- Expiration of the contract;
- Violation of the contract terms by either party;
- Derangement of the contract;
- Agreement between the parties;
- Legally effective court judgment or decision eliminating the possibility to fulfill the work;
- Unless otherwise provided by a labor contract, long-term disability if its duration exceeds 30 calendar days in sequence, or disability for the period exceeding 50 calendar days per 6 months and if along with that,employee has used the entitlement to a leave envisaged by the Article 20;
- Death of an employer or an employee;
- Launching liquidation process of the employer, who is a legal entity.