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Statement by Human Rights Center on Problem Procedures for Paying Allowances to Unemployed Individuals during Pandemic

05.12.2020

 
Human Rights Center (HRC) carries on the project Free Legal Advocacy and Human Rights Monitoring after the Pandemic. Within the project, HRC investigates and identifies the facts of and trends in human rights violations during and after the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and provides professional legal aid to those whose rights are violated. 

Due to the difficult economic situation caused by the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 in the country, Ordinance N 286 of the Government of Georgia from May 4, 2020 determined monthly allowances of GEL 200 to be paid to the employed individuals left without jobs during the pandemic. Under the Ordinance, the information about such employed individuals shall be provided to Revenue Service LEPL by the employers and only after that the allowances are credited to the beneficiaries.

In administering the governmental program no sanctions were envisaged against the employers who improperly and /or in bad faith fulfill the obligation to provide relevant information to Revenue Service LEPL. Since the launch of the program, a number of cases have been identified where, despite the employee meets the criteria set by the Governmental Ordinance, the employer does not provide information to the Revenue Service about the individuals employed by him/her. Because of this reason, the individuals left unemployed lose the vital financial aid.

On the background of the so-called second wave of the pandemic, the Prime Minister presented the new Governmental Program envisaging again GEL 200 allowances for six months to the individuals released from jobs.  Also in this case, the mechanism of paying the allowances has not been changed. Consequently, the allowances are paid again based on the information provided by the employers to the Revenue Service. This would by default exclude the individuals from the benefits left without the allowances at the first stage of the Program; further, this would provide a risk and a possibility that, due to the employers acting improperly or in bad faith, the individuals left without jobs lose the vital financial assistance. 

We call on the Government of Georgia: 

  • To create a mechanism to ensure that employers submit complete data to the Revenue Service on the employees who meet the criteria for receiving the allowances. 
  • To ensure that the relevant authorities pay the allowances on the basis of applications and information submitted directly from the persons concerned.

We call on the employers:

  • To fulfill in good faith the obligations defined by the Ordinance of the Government of Georgia and to provide the Revenue Service LEPL with the information about all the employees who meet and/or may meet the criteria set out in the Ordinance. 

Human Rights Center

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