Article 14 of the Constitution of Georgia deals with two fundamental rights – “freedom” and “equality”. This norm applies to all areas protected by human rights and legitimate interests, including labor relations. In addition, Article 26 of the Constitution guarantees the right to form and join trade unions. Article 33 of the Constitution also recognizes the right to strike.
The Labour Code of Georgia was adopted on 25 May 2006. It abolished the Law on Collective Agreements and Engagements, which was used sometimes in labor relations with creative workers.
The 2006 Labour Code rejected the concept that the labour law is a law of protective nature and was assessed as a law customized to the interests of the employer. In this context, significant problems of non-compliance with international labour standards were identified.
At the end of 2010, as a result of the constitutional reform in the country, the status of the Labour Code was changed and it became an organic law (Organic Law of Georgia “Labour Code of Georgia” (4113-rs 17/12/2010)).
The Labour Code of Georgia was significantly amended in July 2013. Many aspects of labour relations have been regulated in a new way.
According to Article 1 (2) of the Labour Code, “issues related to labour relations, which are not regulated by this law or other special law, shall be regulated by the norms of the Civil Code of Georgia”.
The Labour Code of Georgia recognizes a collective agreement as a source of regulation of labour relations. The Labour Code emphasizes the principle of autonomy of will of the subjects of collective labour relations and therefore, according to Article 41 (3) of the Labor Code, “the parties themselves determine the terms of the collective agreement”.
The Labour Code of Georgia (4113-rs 17/12/2010) supports the protection of fundamental human rights, fair remuneration, and labour safety standards.
In addition to this Code, labour issues are regulated by the Law on Public Service, which regulates the labour relations of public servants (including in the sphere of culture).
Under the Law on Art Workers and Art Unions, Article 8, paragraph 1, an art worker may work in a freelance capacity, be directly employed or work under another type of contract. However, today this law is idle.
In Georgia, there is a trade union for workers in the cultural sector but there is no trend of negotiations on agreements and contracts between employers and trade unions on working conditions.
There is no definite legislation to regulate labour relations in the sphere of culture.