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Jordan: Labor Law Is Amended

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​Recent amendments to Jordan's primary employment legislation include pay equity provisions, paternity leave and revised onsite child care requirements.

The Jordanian Labor Law No. (8) of 1996 ("Labor Law") is the primary piece of legislation governing the employment relationship as amended by Law No. (14) of 2019 issued in the Official Gazette mid-May 2019 ("amended law"). The amended law introduces new provisions that will have a significant impact on the employment relationship. Amendments affect no less than 40 articles of the Labor Law, the most important of which are as follows:


The amended law introduces the concept of "discrimination in wages," which is defined as the inequality in payment of wages between employees based on gender. The amended law imposes a penalty on the employer ranging between 500 to 1,000 Jordanian dinars (approximately $700 to $1,400) if the employer discriminates in payment of wages between employees because of gender.


Subject to Article 57 of the Labor Law, obligatory overtime was capped at 20 days per year; this limit has now been increased, subject to the amended law, to 30 days per year.

Paternity Leave

The amended law grants new fathers three days leave from work with full pay after the birth of a child, whereas the Labor Law previously made no provision for paternity leave.

Annual Leave

Although annual leave has not been increased, the amended law enables an employee to choose payment in lieu of leave, in the event that the employer fails to approve the employee's annual leave for a consecutive period of two years.

Child Care

Article 72 of the Labor Law required an employer to establish a nursery in the workplace, subject to specific conditions, which were modified by the amended law. Previously this obligation was triggered when there were 20 or more female employees in the workplace. However, the amended law removes this condition. Instead, the amended law requires an employer to offer child care facilities where, among the female employees in a company, there are 15 or more children under five years of age.


The amended law emphasizes the right to extend the enforceability of the employment contract even after the age of retirement. Previously automatic termination of employment relationships was triggered upon the employee reaching the age of retirement. In accordance with the amended law, it is now subject to the employee satisfying all retirement conditions mentioned under applicable laws, which are not solely limited to age, but also to payment of required subscriptions.


Any dispute regarding wages was previously resolved by the Wage Authority so long as the employee, in question, was still employed. Under the amended law, the Wage Authority is now entitled to resolve disputes regarding wages including late payment, discrimination in payment, unjustified deductions and other elements, not only while the employee is employed but also for a period of six months after termination should the contract be unilaterally terminated by the employee.

The amended law allows employees to represent themselves before the Magistrates Courts should the dispute relate to wages. This provision was contentious as, in the opinion of several law practitioners, it potentially breached the general principle obliging all claimants to seek legal representation before courts for claims exceeding 1,000 Jordanian dinars (approximately $1,400). The amended law includes a stand-alone provision imposing certain procedures that should be followed (and potentially compensation that should be paid) by the employer if the court determines that the employee's claim is lawful.

The amended law has generally been welcomed and well received by the press, media, employers and employees, though many had hoped it would increase the minimum annual leave entitlement.

Hala Qutteineh is an attorney with Al Tamimi & Co. in Amman, Jordan. © 2019 Al Tamimi & Co. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission of Lexology.


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