New research from UN Women and ISET on the labour rights of employed mothers

Date: Friday, July 9, 2021

Only 3 per cent of the employed women in Georgia are legally entitled to enjoy fully compensated maternity leave. Photo: UN Women
Only 3 per cent of the employed women in Georgia are legally entitled to enjoy fully compensated maternity leave. Photo: UN Women

Only 3 per cent of the employed women in Georgia are legally entitled to enjoy fully compensated maternity leave. Exceptions occur when employers pay additional compensation voluntarily. The state compensation for maternity leave is GEL 167 per month, which is less than the minimum subsistence level.

Assessed data on the labour rights of working mothers were presented by UN Women and the ISET Policy Institute in an online presentation. The event, which was attended by representatives of the executive and legislative branches and international and non-governmental organizations, was aimed at raising awareness about the labour rights of working mothers.

The results of the research show that Georgian labour legislation sets different standards for different groups of employees. Paid maternity leave is also unequally available to women and men, which is why most women give up their professional activities. Women are typically also responsible for family affairs, so during their childbearing years, they are seen as unproductive, less valued employees. In the long run, these circumstances negatively affect women’s participation in the labour force.

Despite the fact that there have been significant progressive changes to the Labour Code of Georgia recently, the legislation still needs improvement in terms of maternity protection. The country has not yet ratified the International Labour Organization’s Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183), which sets minimum standards for the protection of pregnant and working mothers in the labour market.

“We have already inserted the issue of ratifying Convention No. 183 into the workplan of the tripartite commission and into the format of the dialogue on social partnership,” remarked Tamar Barkalaia, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs. “The information provided at this presentation and the impact assessment prepared with ISET support will help us make the right decision. At the same time, the active participation of the Parliament in the process will be of crucial importance.”

Ratification of Convention No. 183 will be an important factor in ensuring, promoting and protecting the safety of working mothers and their children. UN Women will continue to support this process in the future.

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).