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April 01, 2022

By Gordon Barr, Sabrina Saxena and Youstina Ailabouni

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Potential overhaul of domestic labour laws

The labour law applicable in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (the “KRI”) is from 1987. It is out-dated and ill-suited to govern modern day employment relationships. A draft of a new labour law has been circulating between the KRI Ministry of Labour and the KRI Parliament for several years now and it is anticipated that it will have its first reading sometime in 2022.

Employers should continue to monitor developments in this area of law. Once these changes have come into force, employers should update their existing template employment documents and policies accordingly and establish processes to ensure compliance with any additional mandatory reporting obligations.

Proposed digitilisation plan

The 9th Cabinet of Ministers of the KRI, which is currently in its pen-ultimate year, is expected to continue and accelerate its government digitalisation plan into 2022. The plan so far has encompassed company registration, public employee wages, trademark registration, and other sectors in order to facilitate public service of process.

The impact on employers will ideally mean less of a burden in terms of service of process when applying for government permits, registrations, approvals, etc. The digitisation plan is in its early stages and the present focus is making government information public online. However, employers should continue to monitor developments in this area, especially as it relates to the Ministry of Labour. It will also be important to pay attention to electronic visas and changes in that regard.

Updates to and consolidation of existing IP laws

In 2019, the KRI Cabinet of Ministers announced that it would update and fully implement legislation on intellectual property to protect KRI, academics and businesses from infringement. A legal committee has been established to this effect to review new draft legislation for approval in this session of the KRI Parliament.

Enforcement of existing IP law and the consideration of draft IP laws, will have a direct impact on companies operating in the KRI, as well as the IP relationship between employers and employees. Employers should continue to monitor developments in this area of law and modify their internal policies and procedures in accordance with these developments.

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: Kirsty Devine
Kirsty Devine
Associate, Employment Law Department
Image: Aashna Parekh
Aashna Parekh
Associate, Employment Law Department

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