The minimum wage in Jordan is one of the lowest in the world, despite being only JD 190 ($270) per month. Various factors contribute to this low wage. These include unfriendly working practices, local customs, and legislation. Aziz, for example, was lucky to find a job as a math and science teacher at a private school, where she earned JD 150 ($211) per month. This is way below the minimum wage of JD 190.
In Jordan, working hours are regulated by the Labor Law of 1996, as amended by law no. 14 of 2019. Under the law, employees are entitled to fourteen days of annual leave with full pay, excluding weekly holidays and religious feasts. Employers can increase employee hours if necessary but must pay them 125 percent of the normal wage for overtime. Moreover, employees cannot be forced to work longer than forty-eight hours a week without rest days.
The Ministry of Labor’s Director of Labor Relations, Adnan Al-Dahamsheh, explained that the increase in the minimum wage is linked to inflation rates. However, the increase this year will be insufficient to affect the working conditions of the workers. In fact, it’s likely that the minimum wage will increase again next year, but by that time, the increase will be too small to affect the lives of the workers.
The law is aimed at protecting the rights of citizens, and it should consider all the negative effects, including low economic growth, unemployment, and poverty. The concerned authorities should assess the impact of the new minimum wage on employment opportunities, poverty, and competitiveness. It is important to note that a minimum wage increase has a multiplier effect on growth rates and economic participation rates, so it is important to consider the impact of such a policy.
The Jordanian Labour Movement is nationalized and consists of 17 unions. However, the West Bank was part of Jordan until the 1967 war. Before the war, the Labour Movement consisted of 29 trade unions, including one that did not belong to the General Federation. In 1967, the General Federation had 29 unions. It is not clear if a union will be formed in the future, but the Jordanian Labour Movement remains united.
Pay per work hour
A review of the labor law in Jordan reveals that the minimum wage in Jordan has been revised. The wage amount has increased from JOD 268 per month to JOD 260. The labor law in Jordan governs working hours, holidays, and rest periods. It also regulates pay and overtime, as well as the termination of employment. Workers can only work 48 hours per week, not including rest periods. According to the Labor Law of Jordan, employers must give rest to their employees during their working hours, or at least one day per week.
The pay rate in Jordan depends on the nature of the work, including the skills of the employees. Jobs with high responsibility and danger are typically more lucrative than those without. Physicians earn over 50,000 JOD, while an average airline pilot earns 35-45,000 JOD. Scientists and software developers are also highly compensated. Construction workers in hazardous conditions are also rewarded with higher pay rates. Other areas where the pay rate is high are healthcare and the armed forces.
While the minimum wage in Jordan is relatively low, the amount of compensation offered by companies is increasing steadily. Those who work for an employer for over five years receive more compensation than their counterparts. However, if they work for a company for less than six months, they will receive lower bonuses than those who work fewer hours. However, if the company is willing to provide them with higher compensation, the employees can reach their goals more quickly.
Women’s wages are often affected by gender discrimination. Even though Jordan has signed several international conventions on equal pay, the laws do not guarantee equal pay for equal work. While there are certain provisions in the Constitution regarding equal pay, they are narrower than those in the Equal Remuneration Convention. According to the CEACR, the lack of pay equity hinders progress toward eradicating gender-based pay discrimination.
Women work in sectors with high proportions of women. The DoS reported that 80 percent of women are professionals. One-third of women employed in the health and social work sectors is female. In contrast, men work in sectors such as science and humanities. In the United States, pay equity has been promoted by the government in various countries. We will examine some of the countries that have implemented pay equity policies. It’s vital to note that while Jordan has a large workforce, women are still the majority in some sectors.
Protection of working women’s rights
The Jordanian government should consider more comprehensive gender policies, promoting women’s political participation, leadership positions, and flexible working schedules. It should also develop public transportation networks that support and enable working women, and implement policies that promote equal pay for equal work. Moreover, it should ensure a safe working environment and better childcare facilities for women. Finally, it should make more efforts to engage men in the gender equality agenda.
Although the legal framework is progressive, enforcement is still an issue. Several reports highlighting gender-biased policies and discriminatory laws highlighted insufficient enforcement. While progress in legal reform is necessary, it doesn’t guarantee that women’s rights are being protected. This is why developing a monitoring mechanism is crucial for the effective implementation of reforms. While Jordan has made progress in this area, many challenges remain.
Jordan’s economy remains hampered by the protracted humanitarian crisis within its borders. In 2017, the percentage of married women under 18 reached 13.4%, and the unemployment rate reached 19%, with women accounting for 28.9% of the country’s total unemployed population. The proportion of unemployed males was lower, but female unemployment remains high. Further, Jordanian women are less likely to find help from their husbands.
Despite laws that protect working women’s rights in Jordan, these laws have been ineffective in ensuring their equality in the labor market. The lack of equal pay and working conditions, and vertical gender segregation, among other factors, have hindered women’s participation in the labor market. Ultimately, Jordan’s economy needs a cultural change to ensure equal rights for men and women.
While the Jordanian government has agreed to protect core ILO workers’ rights, it has not provided the legal capacity to file a case before the courts for any violation of these rights. Jordan’s National Center for Human Rights is the only organization in the country with the legal capacity to bring gender discrimination cases before the courts. This lack of legal capacity is problematic in terms of the implementation of laws.
Legal minimum wage
Increasing the legal minimum wage is the responsibility of the government. It is a necessary measure in the current economic situation and it is an important tool to help protect citizens from poverty. Raising the minimum wage provides protection and justice for citizens while increasing the purchasing power of citizens helps to stimulate the economy. This decision should be made based on several factors such as performance and production ratio. If the government wants to increase the minimum wage, it should conduct a detailed study of the impacts on the economy.
The Labor Law in Jordan defines what constitutes a wage. The wage includes all in-kind and cash entitlements. It is equal to the average hourly rate of work during a working week. It does not include meal breaks. Jordanians are entitled to at least 48 hours of rest a week, but working in these sectors exceeds the minimum wage. They can expect a salary of at least JD245 per week.
The Jordanian government has agreed to increase the legal minimum wage by JD260 as of January 1, 2021. However, the hike will not be sufficient to increase the wages of workers above the absolute poverty line. The Jordanian poverty line is JD480 per month, which is equivalent to approximately $680. The new minimum wage is subject to social security deductions and will be adjusted annually for inflation. The minimum wage will be determined on the basis of the three main economic indicators.
The Labour Law of Jordan does not explicitly prohibit discrimination. However, the gender gap in pay between men and women is widely prevalent. The Equal Remuneration Recommendation 1951 (ERR) states that pay equity should be implemented early in a woman’s career. Jordan’s Work Directorate sees pay equity as a major challenge and is committed to promoting pay equity in the country. A government action plan is necessary to address pay discrimination in the labor market.
Despite implementing the legal minimum wage, many workers do not even know their rights. Past, Isra’ has worked at a beauty salon for six years. Her salary was fixed at JD 200 per month for the first five years and then increased to JD 230 per month by the sixth year. However, she continues to work despite her health conditions, because she has no other means to make ends meet.