The Upcoming Amendments to the Labor Code of Armenia

Recently, discussions have focused on the draft bill to make amendments and additions to the RA Labor Code (hereinafter referred to as the Draft Bill). Some of these amendments and additions are outlined below.

At what stage is the Draft Bill now?

On the 26th of January 2023, the Draft Bill was approved by the RA Government and was included on the agenda of the RA National Assembly.

Will the provisions of the Labor Code be retroactive after their adoption and implementation?

The Draft Bill currently being discussed in the National Assembly does not address the retroactive effect of the planned amendments and additions. However, it stipulates that the latter’s provisions will be effective on the employment contracts concluded thereafter and on the employment relationship arising thereafter.

What new definitions the Draft Bill defined?

The Draft Bill intends to define the prohibition of violence and harassment, including sexual harassment, as well as the concepts thereof. In addition, the Draft Bill addresses the definitions of the workplace, as well as the place of origin of the employment relationship.

How can the employment contract be signed under the upcoming amendments?

As presented in the Draft Bill, it will be possible for the employment agreements to be signed through email or electronic communication, as long as their authenticity can be confirmed and verified.

A copy of the employment contract may be exchanged between the parties in one or more of the following ways:

  • By sending a copy of the employment contract by registered letter;
  • By sending a copy of the employment contract by facsimile (fax);
  • By sending the scanned version of the employment contract through a link that provides electronic communication.

Has the scope of the employment contract been also completed?

Yes, it follows from the Draft Bill that the place of work, the amount of the basic salary (including taxes paid from the salary, social fees, or other mandatory payments established by law) and the way of determining it, the ways of notifying each other of matters related to labor relations by the employer and the employee must be indicated in the employment contract.

Can the employer, on its own initiative, terminate the employment contract once the employee reaches retirement age?

No, the Draft Bill clarifies the fact that it will not be possible to terminate the employment contract at the initiative of the employer on the basis of reaching retirement age.

Does the Draft Bill extend the termination of the employment contract on the basis of loss of confidence?

Yes, the cases of termination of the employment contract on the basis of loss of confidence have been expanded by the Draft Bill. Particularly noteworthy is the case of the employee illegally using the computer equipment or information systems of the employer or other employees, in which case the employer has the right to terminate the employment contract on his own initiative due to the loss of confidence in the employee.

What will be the legal consequences of not using your annual leave?

The Draft Bill states that if an employee avoids or refuses to use vacation leave or any portion thereof for two and a half consecutive years, the period of annual leave granted to the employee is determined by the employer without the employee’s request for annual leave.

Can an employee study abroad and still keep their job?

Yes, according to the Draft Bill, with the consent of the employer, an employee may be granted a study leave for the entire period of study, but not more than two years in order to increase his professional qualifications in foreign educational institutions or to acquire new knowledge directly related to the performance of work duties.

Does the Draft Bill regulate the concept of the internship?

Yes, it will be possible for employers to organize internships for up to two months.

Moreover, an intern can be a person who, while studying at an educational institution implementing pre-professional, secondary professional, or higher professional educational programs, or within one year after graduation, is engaged by the employer in unpaid or paid work.

It is important to emphasize that the number of interns at the employer’s workplace cannot exceed 10% of the number of employees at the moment.

Is the employer (tax agent) obliged to carry out tax accounting of the interns?

Yes, according to the amendments envisaged in the RA Tax Code, the tax agents will submit to the tax authority an application for the registration of the intern, where the information prescribed by the Labor Code will be included.

If you want to learn more about the upcoming amendments and additions to the Labor Code, our team will be happy to inform you and provide legal advice in this matter.

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