Announcement on the draft Labour code

We, the undersigned civil society organizations are expressing our concern over the RA Draft Law on “Making Amendments and Supplements to the RA Draft Labor Code” elaborated by the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

In performance to the command of the previous Government, back in 2017 a draft law was elaborated, which, as stated by the authors, was aimed at the releif of the administrative burden for small entrepreneurship, but these problems are not solved practically and deteriorates the legal protecion with the employer in every kind of relationship.

Highliting the importance of the effective and beneficial decision making on the social and economic issues, we therefore express our concern on a number of regulations on the darft law, which can lead to the use of the employees and become a ground for discrimination.

Particularly, we consider unacceptable the implementation of the overtime work with the agreement of the parties without the annual time restriction, the elimination of the minimum threshold for the overtime and nightshift works, the ellimination of the minimum threasholds for the additional payments of the particularly heavy and harmful jobs, as prescribed by legislation, as well as the elimination of the threashold for the list of vocations and their period leaving its regulations for the agreement of the parties.

Negative opinions of the mentioned regulations on the project have been expressed not only by the non-governmental organizations, but also the RA Health Inspectorate Body, the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia, as well as the Office of the International Labor Organization (ILO), but these opinions and recommendations have not been reflected in the amended version of the draft law. Besides, the professional opinion, that is technical comments of the UN have not yet been published and a public discussion on the draft law has not been organized.

Taking into consideration the negative impact of the amendments to the Labor Code in the context of protection of labor rights, as well as the necessity of participatory procedures, we ask to postpone the discussion and the adoption of the RA draft law on “Making Amendments and Supplements to the RA Labor Code” within reasonable deadlines, in this regard organize public discussions with the interested parties and specialized bodies in the field, as well as, based on the expertise and public research take out and present grounded recommendations on the current Code. Except that, the continuous improvement of labor rights should be prescribed by the new project of the Government as one of the most important directions as a milestone document for the radical changes.