Practice Area Articles


February 05, 2024

By Paul Hastings Professional

Back to International Employment Law



Amended labour law

New amendments to the Jordanian Labour Law (the “Amended Law”) came into force in June 2023. Among others, the Amended Law focuses on six main areas. First, there are clarifications on the arrangements of secondment and outsourcing of employees. Second, the Amended Law provides for the employment and deployment of expatriate employees, mainly in relation to work permit requirements. Third, should an employee resign without notice, Article 29 of the Labour Law now states that employees are required to notify the Ministry of Labour within two weeks. Fourth, the grounds of Article 29 have been expanded to include sexual harassment and sexual assault. Fifth, overtime compensation, like salaries, should be also be paid on a monthly basis within seven days of the date of entitlement. Finally, while the Amended Law initially provided that experience certificates should be certified by the Ministry of Labour, a more recent decision holds that experience certificates must be issued in a standard form used by the Ministry of Labour. The certificate must also be certified before officials at the Ministry with the presence of the employee.

Updated health and safety regulations and instructions

Regulation No. 31 requires employers with over 20 employees to conduct occupational risk assessments of the work environment. Employers must also follow up on work accidents or imminent accidents which have not resulted in any harm but could have resulted in damage or injury under different circumstances. Any imminent danger should be notified to the Ministry of Labour. Employers should also provide a work environment that allows employees to move freely to perform their duties or evacuate in case of emergencies. Additionally, employers should take measures to preserve the safety of workers in exceptional weather conditions, should it be necessary for them to continue to work without interruption for technical reasons, and provide sufficient training and monitoring to ensure the implementation of the occupational health and safety procedures. Finally, employers should inform new employees of the sources of occupational hazards and the means of prevention, provide health facilities commensurate with the number of employees and nature of economic activity, and carry out periodic maintenance of machinery and equipment.

Meanwhile, Regulation No. 32 sets out instructions on preventative and curative medicine for workers. If the employer has 50 or more employees, medical examinations must be undertaken by any establishment whose workers are required to attend in person and are carrying out an ‘Economic Activity’, as defined by the law. The examination must be performed by a nurse, paramedic or doctor, licensed by the Jordanian Ministry of Health. An employer is required to provide adequate space and tools for the medical examinations none of which can be paid for by the worker in any way. If the employer is unable to do so (for geographical or other reasons), it can contract with a hospital, clinic, or medical centre licensed by the Ministry of Health. If the employer has fewer than 50 employees, a worker who has taken a Vocational and Technical Skills Development Authority accredited first aid training course may replace the need for a nurse, paramedic or doctor. The number of accredited employees required on site differs according to the level of risk and total number of employees. An employer is also required to keep a special medical record of each worker containing the worker’s relevant personal details, as well as details pertaining to the medical examinations conducted. Regulation No. 32 places special emphasis on pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with disabilities and people exposed to special health risks.

Nursery or payment in lieu

Where employees of an entity collectively have 15 or more children under the age of five years, the employer must establish a nursery at office premises. If the employer does not establish the nursery, then employees are entitled to a payment in lieu of nursery, depending on the salary of the employee. Employers should therefore be mindful of their obligations to employees with young children and adopt appropriate steps to avoid extraneous payments in lieu.

With thanks to Gordon Barr, Roxanne Vesuvala, and Sonia Shah of Al Tamimi & Company for their invaluable collaboration on this update.




Suspension of use of the Defence Law, Orders, and Circulars

At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Jordanian Government enacted the National Defence Law, its Orders and Circulars (collectively the “Defence Law”) to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the general workforce in Jordan.

This had the subsequent effect of suspending the applicability of provisions of the Labour Law No.(8) for the year 1996 (the “Labour Law”). Namely, employers who dismissed employees without due cause during COVID-19 were subjected to criminal penalties, as applicable. Furthermore, the Defence Law practically suspended the applicability of the Flexible Working Regulations which defined and regulated remote work and part-time work in Jordan.

Although the Jordanian Government has not formally announced the suspension of use of the Defence Law, it is expected that the same shall take place during the beginning of the new year.

The provisions of the Labour Law shall come back into effect upon the suspension of use of the Defence Law. This will allow employers to resume their application of provisions for dismissal of employees as stipulated within the Labour Law. Hence, employers will no longer be subject to criminal penalties in cases involving dismissal of employees pursuant to the Defence Law.

Employers should remain diligent with regards to the re-applicability of the provisions of the Labour Law. The suspension of use of the Defence Law is to be viewed as a positive change for employers, which will provide employers with the flexibility and certainty of applying the provisions of the Labour Law.


Repeal of the Investment Law

The Investment Environment Law, No. (21) for the year 2022 (the “Investment Environment Law”) will repeal the current Investment Law, No. (30) for the year 2014 (the “Current Investment Law”) on the 14th of January 2023. In this respect, and for the time being, the regulations emanating from the Current Investment Law shall remain applicable. However, there may be an amendment to the existing relevant investment regulations once the Investment Environment Law is issued in order to amalgamate all the various regulations into one piece of cohesive regulation.

In relation to employment matters, the Investment Environment Law is projected to set out the following:

  1. Employment quotas/ratios, whether in respect of employment of Jordanian nationals or women, in order to obtain investment incentives; and

  2. Employment of employees for investment projects in the various free zones in Jordan.

Employers utilizing the Current Investment Law will need to identify the alterations brought forward by the Investment Environment Law, and establishments working within free zones will need to ensure that they abide by the provisions of the same.

Additionally, employers looking to benefit from the Investment Environment Law will need to await the issuance of the comprehensive corresponding regulations that will set out in greater detail the relevant updates to employment law that would impact their business operations.

We note that the issuance of the comprehensive corresponding regulations may also repeal any current regulations emanating from the Current Investment Law that employers may be benefiting from. Employers should remain diligent with regards to the updated regulations to be issued in relation to the Investment Environment Law and the applicability of the same.


Introduction of a Data Protection Law

Jordan does not have a codified data protection regime in place and a draft data protection law is awaiting ratification by the Jordanian Parliament, the Draft Data Protection Law for the year 2019 (the “Draft Data Protection Law”) which would regulate the main concepts of transparency, accuracy, storage limitation, and data minimisation. The Draft Data Protection Law is a simplified version of the GDPR and follows the main provisions of the same albeit in a more rudimentary manner. We note that there is a possibility for the Draft Data Protection Law to be ratified during the course of 2023. However, this is not guaranteed as this legislation has been awaiting ratification for a while.

Jordanian Employers will be required to amend their methods of dealing with employee data and sensitive data, and abide by the provisions of the Draft Data Protection Law with regards to controlling and transferring the said employee data.

Employers should remain diligent with regards to the Draft Data Protection Law which could be introduced in 2023 and the applicability of the same on their employee data.

With thanks to Gordon Barr and Malavika Vijayan of Al Tamimi & Company for their invaluable collaboration on this update.




Implementation of new data protection law

The Jordanian Government has proposed a draft Data Protection Law which will implement specific data protection legislation and regulate data protection in respect of online services and platforms, as well as regulating data protection more generally.

The draft Data Protection Law applies with respect to any personal data “dealings”, relating to individuals located in Jordan, even if the dealings are conducted outside of Jordan. It expressly requires the consent of any data owner in regards to dealings involving their personal data. In addition, the processor of such information must provide the data owner with certain pertinent information, including the purported purpose for which such data is used. The data owner has the opportunity to withdraw their consent in respect of dealings involving their personal data and has the right to request the deletion of personal data collected. Further, the draft Data Protection Law requires the processor of information to ensure that its systems are technically equipped with relevant data protection safeguards and obliges a processor to notify the relevant authority (a Personal Data Protection Board, to be established for such purposes) and users of any breaches to its systems.

Employers should familiarize themselves with these new obligations regarding the collection of employee information. Primarily, an employer must ensure that their employees’ data is properly protected, and must obtain their employees’ express consent in order to store, process, transfer and collect their data.


Renewed focus on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and increasing female  participation in the workforce

In 2020, the World Bank alongside the Ministry of Labour in Jordan issued a new requirement for companies to include a sexual harassment policy in their internal bylaws. A separate Code of Conduct was also published in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport in Jordan. The Jordanian Labour Law does not currently provide for any reporting mechanism or protections with regard to sexual harassment in the workplace.

Activists have been calling for:

  • A reform of Article No. 29 of the Jordanian Labour Law.  As part of this, they have requested that sexual harassment be clearly defined and have argued for the imposition of strict punishments against perpetrators of sexual harassment and protection against negative implications for victims; and
  • The removal of Article No. 69 of the Jordanian Labour Law, which places restrictions on women in terms of working hours and professions. The provision in question currently prohibits women from working in the mining sector, for example, restricts women who are pregnant and/or nursing from access to certain professions and generally, bans women from working after 10pm at night.

These proposals are in line with the Jordanian Government’s vision to increase female participation in the workforce by year 2025. Employers should pay close attention to the developments in this respect and work towards ensuring full compliance with any legal changes implemented which may involve reviewing and updating internal policies and procedures.




Increase of minimum wage

The tripartite committee established under the Ministry of Labour increased the minimum wage in Jordan to JOD 260 per month for Jordanian employees, and JOD 230 per month for non‑Jordanian employees as of 1 January 2021. An extension was granted to businesses falling within the most damaged sectors and sectors suspended from operation, as defined and specified from time to time in defence orders issued pursuant to the Defence Law No. (13) of 1992 (the "Defence Law") in consideration of the COVID‑19 pandemic, for the increase in minimum wage to be implemented by 1 June 2021.


Registration with the Social Securities Corporation

Any institution employing one employee or more shall be required to register their employees with the Social Securities Corporation. In addition, the Social Securities Corporation has started a new programme called "Istidama" for businesses and sectors most affected by the COVID‑19 pandemic and restricted from operating. The Istidama programme offers financial aid to businesses by paying their employee's salaries. A percentage of the employee's salary will be covered by the Social Security Corporation.


Defence Order No. (6) permits more flexible working arrangements

The Defence Order has been in place since 2010, however, with the current COVID‑19 situation the Defence Order No. (6) is a vital update that each client and potential client should keep in mind.

Defence Order No. (6), issued pursuant to the Defence Law, allows employers to convert existing contracts to flexible work contracts in order to facilitate more flexible working arrangements by accommodating for work‑from‑home mechanisms. In addition, Defence Order No. (6) has placed vast restrictions on the termination of employment contracts by the employer in an attempt to avoid a large increase in unemployment rates. To add to that, Defence Order No. (6) has allowed businesses and sectors that have been restricted from operating to decrease their employees' salaries as regulated and sanctioned from time to time through the issuance of further defence orders and declarations.

With thanks to Gordon Barr, Sabrina Saxena and Youstina Ailabouni of Al Tamimi & Company for their invaluable collaboration on this update.

For More Information

Image: Suzanne Horne
Suzanne Horne

Partner, Employment Law Department

Image: Aashna Parekh
Aashna Parekh

Associate, Employment Law Department

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