Tightened Labor Safety Law Takes Effect in Georgia

From 1 September 2019, the tightened Law of Georgia on Labor Safety took effect which means that labor safety will apply not only to the dangerous, heavy and hazardous labor fields, but to all sectors of economic activity throughout the country.

The goal of the changes was to define the main requirements of labor safety and the general principles of preventive measures in the workplace. The legislative amendments envisage the creation and operation of a system of effective working mechanisms for enforcement and inspection.

From now on, employers are obliged to appoint or invite a certified labor security specialist to their company in order to comply with labor safety standards.

The information posted on the Labor Inspectorate website reads that if an employer has 20 or fewer employees he/she can personally perform the duties of labor security specialist.

However, if an employer has from 20 to 100 employees, he or she must have at least one labor security specialist, and if the employer has 100 or more employees, the company needs to have at least two labor security specialists in the workplace.

“The labor security specialist must undergo a relevant accreditation program,” the website of the Labor Inspectorate reads.

The changes are expected to prevent violations of labor safety norms and ensure the introduction and management of labor safety measures.

Under the same tightened law, the mandate of the labor inspectorate was extended and the Labor Inspector is now entitled to inspect any workplace at any time, without prior notice.

Until September 1, 2019, a supervisory agency was authorized to control business activities, including entering the enterprise, requesting documents, suspending the operation of the enterprise, sealing the property, examining the enterprise, checking the quality of the goods produced, only on the basis of an order issued by a judge. But from now on, the Labor Inspector has the authority to check any workspace subject to inspection, at any time of day or night, in order to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the labor safety norms.

Preventing the supervisory body from carrying out inspection will result in a fine of up to GEL 4,000 for an individual and up to GEL 14,000 for a person registered as a VAT taxpayer.

Employees are entitled, among other things, to claim and receive compensation for injuries received at the workplace, including injuries resulting from occupational illness.

Until now, the law covered only the hazardous, harmful and dangerous labor fields.

Georgian Parliament adopted a Law on Labor Safety with the third and final reading on March 7, 2018. According to the law, sanctions for the breach of safety norms were tightened, and fines were increased from 100 to 50,000 GEL.

The law now applies to all sectors of economic activity, including the labor relations regulated by the Organic Law of Georgia Labor Code of Georgia and the Law of Georgia on Civil Service.

By Thea Morrison

Image source: bm.ge

02 September 2019 17:29