Everyone knows about these violations, but not everyone fights against them
Heriknaz Tigranyan, a legal adviser of the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, notes that there haven’t been any surveys in Armenia and there are actually no statistical data either on development or degrading of the labor legislation in Armenia, as well as on the most common violations in this sphere.
The legal adviser presents five most common s violations of the labor law based on the Anti-Corruption Center’s data.
1. Existence of illegal, unregistered employees
This is usually a verbal agreement between an employee and an employer. As a result, the employer does not register the employee to avoid tax liabilities. In this case, an employee’s period of work in this organization is not taken into consideration as a pension insurance record.
Whereas in case of any dispute with an employer, for example, on wage payment, it’s a real problem to prove the existence of actual labor relations.
2. Actual wage rate not specified in a labor contract
An employee consents to an employer’s offered conditions, as his/her main concern is only the availability of job. In fact, the employee receives high wage, but the amount specified in a labor contract is less than the actual one. Thus, the employer exempts himself/herself from payment of higher taxes.
However, if the employer then fails to pay a wage or dismisses the employee for no reason, the latter will not be able to refer to a real wage when defending his/her rights in court and seeking indemnification, which is disadvantageous for the employee.
3. Conclusion of fixed-term labor contract with no grounds
Employers tend to conclude fixed-term contracts, that allow them to easily get rid of undesirable employees, referring to expiration of the contract terms. Employers are free from providing additional substantiations and explanations.
4. Setting probation period for everyone without any exclusion
The Labor Code of the Republic of Armenia does not allow setting a probation period in case of employment: of individuals under 17; persons, who have passed qualifying exams with the aim of appointment for this position; persons, changing a job upon the employers’ mutual consent. When concluding a labor contract, this categories of hired workers can demand from an employer to exclude the probation period requirement from the contract.
Moreover, an employee, himself/herself, may set a probation period to check, how much this activity suits him/her. Regrettably, there is no such practice in Armenia yet, as it is not that easy and simple to find a job at the labor market.
5. Assignment of overtime work in non-working hours with no extra payment
An employer calls employees at any occasion, in non-working hours, with no legal grounds and reasonable notice. Under the Labor Code, maximum number of working hours in non-working time makes up to 180 hours annually. That’s when the remuneration problem occurs.
According to the Labor Code of the Republic of Armenia, an extra charge amounting to 50% shall be paid for work performed during the non-working time – that is an employee must be paid by 50% more per hour of work in non-working time than he/she is paid per hour of work in working hours.
But if an employee’s activity during the non-working hours is in no way reflected in documents, it will hard to demand extra charge.