The ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI) in collaboration with UN Women, in the scope of the project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” (WEESC) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC)—has implemented Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA) in two parts to study the prospects and organize a policy dialogue towards the possible ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156). The aim of the RIA exercise in two parts, presented in this volume, is to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (MoIDPOTLHSA) and other respective national institutions involved in the process of ratifying the Convention.
According to Convention No. 156, the definition of “worker with family responsibilities” is twofold, concerning:
- Responsibilities towards one or more dependent children
- Responsibilities towards other members of the immediate family
Georgia has not yet ratified the Convention, and its legislation does not contain the definition of worker with family responsibilities. However, the term is partially applied, both for employees of the private and of the public sector. Having family responsibilities is an important factor influencing the labour market outcomes of individuals of working age. ILO Convention No. 156 highlights the fact that family responsibilities can constitute an important constraint for workers, as such duties usually conflict with labour market responsibilities, potentially leading to worse labour market outcomes (e.g. discrimination at hiring, lower pay, higher risk of inactivity, etc.). Family responsibilities—including unpaid care work — are also one of the reasons behind gender gaps in the labour market, as family responsibilities fall disproportionately to the female members of working-age families. Moreover, according to a 2018 UN Women report, significantly fewer women of working age are participating in the labour market than men (79 per cent of men versus 53 per cent of women). The disparities are even more pronounced when looking at the labour market participation rate of males and females of reproductive age (85 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women). The major aims of the Convention include creating equality of opportunities as well as of results, avoiding conflicts between job and family responsibilities, and avoiding discrimination in the workplace. ILO Convention No. 156 and its associated Recommendation, 1981 (No. 165), also stress that States should take into account the needs of workers with family responsibilities when engaging in community planning and should develop and/or promote community services, public or private, such as childcare and family services and facilities.