Labour rights of domestic workers in Georgia - UN Women and ISET present research findings

Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021

In Georgia, 82 per cent of domestic workers work overtime. Photo: UN Women
In Georgia, 82 per cent of domestic workers work overtime. Photo: UN Women

In Georgia, 82 per cent of domestic workers, such as babysitters, caregivers and helpers, work overtime (more than 40 hours a week), but there are no data on whether this work is paid or not. Moreover, 96 per cent of domestic workers work without any written contract, which complicates the demand for overtime pay and compensation. The lack of a contract also hinders the receipt of aid and benefits during a crisis, such as a pandemic.

These study results, along with other research findings on the labour rights of domestic workers in Georgia were presented by UN Women and the ISET Policy Institute at an online meeting on 17 June 2021 that was attended by representatives of the government, the NGO sector and international organizations.

According to the research, 99 per cent of the domestic workers are women. They do critically important work and make a significant contribution to the economy of the country, but their work is not properly valued. Domestic workers, who represent a part of the informal economy, are less likely to benefit from the social protection mechanisms that are provided for formally employed workers by the legislation.

The study also examined the potential impacts and prospects of regulating the labour rights of domestic workers. Eventually, its results should facilitate political dialogue in order for Georgia to accede to the International Labour Organization’s Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189). The document aims at the protection of decent labour rights and fundamental human rights for all those employed as domestic workers. Harmonisation of Georgian legislation with Domestic Workers Convention 2011 (No 189) is of great importance for ensuring protection of domestic workers rights.

“Today’s presentation was very interesting, especially in the light of the fact that the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia, together with its partners, is working on thematic inquiry concerning women’s employment in the informal sector, and the presented material will greatly help the research process,” remarked Khatia Tsilosani, a member of the aforementioned parliamentary council. UN Women will continue to raise awareness on women’s informal work in Georgia, particularly of domestic workers, and will advocate and encourage the process of ratifying Convention No. 189, as well as the implementation of the respective recommendations.

The research study was conducted as part of the UN Women regional project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus”, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).