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What are the changes to the Labor Code?

 

As it is known, by the instruction of Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan the RA Labor Code should undergo radical reforms. The draft of amendments was published in November last year and a certain phase of public discussions will soon be reached at the National Assembly. WomenNet.am interviewed Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Tadevos Avetisyan on the proposed amendments to the Labor Code.

 

  • Avetisyan, what is the main reason for making changes to the Labor Code another time? Recent changes in the Code were made in 2015 …
  • After the recent amendments to the Code, law enforcement practice shows that there is a need for continuous improvement of certain provisions, as well as from the point of view of providing more flexible mechanisms for the regulation of labor relations. The Ministry constantly monitors and analyzes all the complaints and alerts we receive from both employees and employers and trade unions. As a result, it becomes apparent that the provisions that need change or are problematic. In addition, we periodically study international experience and contemporary trends that occur in the industry, and in recent years, including in developed countries, it is clear that certain liberalization of legislation governing labor relations, certain relief of tough regulations, as a result, the protection of the parties’ rights is, of course, preserved. Let’s not forget about Armenia’s international commitments. Armenia is a member of the International Labor Organization, we have joined the European Social Charter and regularly submit reports on our legislation, receiving recommendations to make it conform to the conventions and other documents of those organizations.

 

The main concern that there are changes in this process is that excessive liberalization in labor interactions enhances the employer and weakens the employees. Do you see these risks?

 

 – I do not agree with that assessment, because it is the opposite, it is not the position of the employer at the expense of the other party, but an objective opportunity to create legal relationships in the legal field, to show the size of salary, which first of all the employee. I will not say secret that the number of salaries paid in Armenia and actually paid is often incompatible with one another. But we do not think it’s a matter of solving a problem, and there is also the risk of complicated, rigid adjustments.

 

  • It’s no secret that a very serious situation in the agricultural sector, where the main labor force is women, but most of them are not registered employees. How does the state solve this problem by ensuring their rights and social guarantees?

 

  • It’s a good question, but let’s differentiate the problem. First, women who work on their land are considered self-employed, and in that case agriculture is not taxed by income tax and it is not considered a working experience. But if any farmer is hired, then there must be working relationships …

 

  • But we live in Armenia, where the shadow is something ordinary, or that a woman works with her relative or close friend and cannot demand legal employment …

 

  • – I understand what you mean, but in this part … I can only say the following: we are trying to simplify the adjustments, especially for small businesses, and we believe that it will help those same employers who are currently working in an informal field to pass to the formal field, and naturally the worker will also benefit from it. But in general, on agricultural employment, considering that it mostly refers to self-employment, the Labor Code does not apply.

 

When will the bill be submitted to the National Assembly?

 

– At present, the draft has been presented to the staff of the Government of Armenia and we believe that within a month the draft will be submitted to the parliament’s discussion, especially since the document has passed through many stages of discussions, including the public sector.

 

 

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