Jordan recently took a step forward in the fight against discrimination in the workplace. A study previously showed that men earn 41 percent more than women in the private sector and 28 percent more in the public sector. In response to the wage gap, the Parliament of Jordan, in collaboration with the International Labor Organization, has amended Labor Law No. (8) of 1996 to prohibit unequal pay.
The law now defines “wage discrimination” as inequality between workers in remuneration for work of equal value due to discrimination based on gender. Employers found guilty of wage discrimination will be subject to a fine between 500 and 1,000 Jordanian dinars.
The amendment allows the Minister of Labour to designate an authority with expertise and specialization in labor affairs called the Wages Authority. The Wages Authority will consist of one or more persons per region to consider cases related to wages in that area, including a decrease in paid wages or illegal deductions from them, delay in their payment, wages for overtime, and any discrimination in wages from work of equal value.
In addition, the articles related to vacation days have been amended to provide for paternity leave of three days for fathers upon the birth of a child.
The amended law also has provisions aimed at those with disabilities. The new articles introduce a quota for employers to hire a certain number of disabled employees. Employers that hire disabled workers must send a letter to the Minister of Labour stating the type of work that the disabled employee will be performing, in order to ensure that it is suitable for his or her disability.
In light of these recent changes, employers may want to ensure that they award equal pay for work of equal value, award paternity leave to their male employees, and meet the quota for hiring disabled persons.
Written by Aya Qudah of Al Tamimi & Company and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins
© 2020 Al Tamimi & Company and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.