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Beka Natsvlishvili calls for minimum wage law to be adopted in Georgia

By Tsotne Pataraia
Thursday, November 7
Independent MP Beka Natsvlishvili proposes legislation to set the minimum wage in Georgia by law. Natsvlishvili registered the bill today.

The MP explains that as of today, the average salary of 229 thousand people in the country is 280 GEL per month, which is less than the minimum wage:

“People can't even meet basic needs with such earnings. According to the bill, the minimum salary should be higher than the minimum wage, which is 380 GEL. Setting minimum salaries will improve the lives of at least 229,000 people. If the law establishes, it will increase the earnings of other relatively high-paid people as well, ” said Natsvlishvili.

According to the draft law prepared by Beka Natsvlishvili, the minimum salary should increase to 520 GEL. The bill includes penalties for the companies that pay full-time employees less than the minimum wage:

"If a supervisory authority finds a violation for the first time by the employer during the calendar year, a fine shall be imposed," reads the draft.

Following Beka Natsvlishvili's bill, in the conditions of the minimum salary, the social conditions of thousands of employees will improve:

"Today, when there is virtually no minimum wage regulation, some of the employed people do not have access to the amount of labor that provides for their minimum physiological and social needs. There is clearly a dangerous trend for our country when the poor layers of the society include not only socially vulnerable people (pensioners, large families, the unemployed), but also employees. In Georgia, the problem is inseparably linked on the one hand to the rate of unemployment and on the other hand, to salaries and the general state of inequality," states the bill.

This is the second bill on this subject ever presented to parliament after the legislative initiative created by the trade unions of Georgia. The document created by the trade union initiative set a minimum wage of 320 GEL.

Beka Natsvlishvili was a member of the Georgian Dream (ruling party) - Social Democrats faction in the Parliament of Georgia from 2016-2019. He left the majority, the Social Democratic Party and faction, on February 22, 2019. Beka Natsvlishvili cited two reasons why he took the step: pension reform, when parliament rejected his proposed option, and the issue of selecting judges for the Supreme Court, which was unanimously rejected by both opposition politicians and the general public.