- Doing Business in Armenia
Labour relations in the Republic of Armenia are governed by the Labour Code, which became effective on 21 June 2005. This Code aims at adapting the labour legislation to the present-day realities. It should be noted that this Code has recently undergone several important amendments. One of the crucial modifications was the introduction of the individual act on recruitment as a basis for the formation of labour relations in case of mutual consent of the employer and employee. Thus, at present the Labour Code foresees 2 bases for formation of labour contracts and extends the application of provisions on contractual relations over those arising from the above-mentioned individual act.
Labor force of Armenia
The main wealth of Armenia is probably its young and highly qualified population (68 % of the population ranges from 15 to 59 years old). The labour legal capacity in the Republic of Armenia arises in full from the moment of reaching the age of 16 and in some cases at the age of 14. The retiring age established by the law is 63.
The educational system is the biggest advantage of Armenia. Today there are about 62 universities and 9 branches of foreign universities, enrolling more than 125,000 students.
There is a certain requirement for every worker to have a personal work-book – a main document containing information on working experience of the worker. The liability to keep work-books for all employees working in the main place of work is vested with the employer. The work-book should be comprised of the following data: name and family name of the employee (patronymic if desired); year, month and day of birth of the employee; period of work in compliance with the employment contract, period of time in personnel reserve of the civil service which is accounted toward job tenure, period of time during studies at vocational and higher educational establishments, period of time at compulsory military service; basis for any record taken (number and enactment date of the legal act). This document allows employees receiving their retirement allowances. The periods for jobs, which according to the legislation entitle the employee to privileged pension are also enshrined.
Labor remuneration in Armenia
In 2012 the average wage in Armenia was 121,342 AMD. The minimum allowed wage in Armenia is 35,000 AMD per month, excluding applicable taxes.
Regular working hours should be 40 hours a week (8 hours a day maximum). Overtime is possible within the limits of 48 hours a week and 12 hours a day.
Night work (between 22:00 and 6:00 in the morning) is forbidden for persons under 18, and there are certain privileges for pregnant women and employees taking care of children under age 3.
There are several types of holidays, memorial days/leaves. Below are recalled the main ones:
- December 31st - January 2nd: New Year
- January 3rd – January 5th: Christmas holidays
- January 6th: Christmas
- January 7th: All Souls' Day
- January 28th: Army Day
- March 8th: Women’s Day
- April 24th: Day of Commemoration of Armenian Genocide
- May 1st: Workers’ Day
- May 9th: Victory Day
- May 28th: The First Armenian Republic Day
- July 5th: Constitution Day
- September 21st: Day of Independence
The length of an annual paid leave is 20 working days in case, if the working week is comprised of 5 working days, and 24 working days - if the working week is comprised of 6 working days. The annual leave may be provided in parts by the request of the employee. In any case one of the parts of the annual leave should last at least 10 or 12 working days depending on the length of the working week. Annual leave for each working year shall be granted in the same working year. The transfer of the annual leave is allowed only through the mediation of or with the consent of the employee. In any case the transferred annual leave shall be granted no later than during 18 months starting upon the end of the working year for which the annual leave has not been provided.
The monetary compensation for unused annual leave shall be paid at a time of terminating the employment contract.
Usually, maternity leave is 140 days (70 days before and 70 days after child delivery). In case of complications in birth, leave is extended to 155 days (70 days before and 85 days after child delivery) and in case of twins or triplets birth - 180 days (70 days before and 110 days after children delivery).
Employees taking care of a child under 3 (father, mother, grandparents or other members of the family) can benefit from a parental child-keeping leave while retaining their positions.
Different types of agreements/contracts
All data to be indicated in an individual act on recruitment or in an employment contract are listed in the Labour Code of the Republic of Armenia. According to the Labour Code of the Republic of Armenia there are different types of employment contracts. A contract can be concluded for definite or unlimited terms. Contracts could be concluded for certain term only in exceptional cases when the labour relations could not be defined for an indefinite period with account of the conditions or the nature of the work to be performed. The employment contract with definite terms can be also concluded in the following cases:
- with the elective employees for the elected period;
- combined work;
- a seasonal work (in that case it cannot exceed 8 months and employer can prematurely terminate the contract serving at least three day prior notification in writing);
- a temporary work (it cannot exceed two months, employee can be obliged to work during holidays/ days-off and employer can prematurely terminate the contract serving at least three day prior notification in writing);
- temporarily absent employee is replaced for the period of absence;
- with a foreigner for the period of validity of his/her work permit or the right to sojourn.
Termination of an employment contract
Due to recent modifications in the Labour Code, the list of cases for employment contract termination was accordingly extended and presently includes the following points:
- both parties, upon mutual consent, decided to terminate it;
- it has been expired;
- on the initiative of the employee;
- on the initiative of the employer (for serious misconduct, loss of confidence towards the employee, in case of staff reduction taking place due to economic reasons, etc.);
- in case of conscription of the employee to compulsory military service;
- in case of a court decision put in effect to call the employee to account as a result of which work continuation is deemed impossible;
- in case if the employee forfeited the rights to perform certain works in the manner established by the legislation;
- if the employee is under 16 of age and either of the parents, or adoptive parent or tutor /guardian/, or physician in charge of health monitoring of the minor, or social inspector for labour protection requires termination of the employment contract;
- in case of considerable changes in working conditions /working environment/;
- in case of death of the employer-physical person;
- in case of the employee’s death;
- in case of false information provided by the employee during placement concerning the latter’s qualifications, state of health;
- in case of concealment by the employee at a time of placement of the fact that he/she was forfeited the right to perform certain types of work.
The Labour Code envisages provisions to protect pregnant women or employees taking care of children under 1, as well as legitimate strikers against the risk of employment contract termination on the initiative of the employer.