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    21-Jul-2020

PM issues circular on wage regulations for July, August

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Circular No. 8 issued by Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Omar Razzaz under Defence Order No. 6 allows employers to reduce monthly salaries by up to 20 per cent for July and August, Labour Minister Nidal Bataineh said on Monday. 
 
The circular stipulates the approval of employees, who report to workplace or work remotely exclusively, in the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bataineh said during a press conference broadcast live from the Prime Ministry to announce Circular No. 8.
 
The minister added that the circular allows for lowering the July and August salaries of workers, who are not assigned with any job in the most affected sectors, by 50 per cent, provided that their wages after the deduction are no less than the minimum wage of JD220. 
 
In this regard, he stressed that employees of institutions that are not included in the most affected sectors are eligible for their full salaries, noting that the new circular is issued with an updated list of the most affected sectors and activities depending on the epidemiological status of the Kingdom. 
 
The circular also obliged employers to renew fixed-term contracts for a period equal to the duration of the last contract, provided that the contract had ended on July 1, 2020 or later and that the contract was previously renewed at least three times.
 
Bataineh noted that the ministry, since the outbreak of the pandemic, has received more than 42,576 labour complaints related to wages and lay-offs. 
 
During this period, 8,585 institutions with 315,295 employees faced complaints, while 6,523 institutions have payed salaries to their 303,115 employees, the minister said.  
 
Also speaking during the press briefing, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tareq Hammouri said that the list of the most affected sectors “constantly” undergoes amendments depending on the Kingdom's epidemiological situation.
 
Hammouri added the updated list of the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic includes tourist institutions, employment agencies, transport agencies, event managing agencies, festivals, conventions and exhibitions, wedding halls, sports and entertainment facilities, cultural centres, clothing retailers, schools, kindergartens, car rentals and gyms.
 
It also includes cinemas and theatres, private sector museums, wood and furniture industries, leather and textile sectors and the constructions sector, the minister added.
 
He also noted that some sectors were removed from the previous list due to their return to work, such as publication, restaurants and sweetshops, coffee shops, advertisement and TV production facilities, real estate agencies, lawyer and auditing firms offices and tourist facilities in Aqaba.
 
Mazen Maaytah, head of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions, said that the new regulations are "fair for employers and employees alike”, especially since many sectors have resumed work.
 
President of the Jordan Chamber of Industry Fathi Jaghbir commended the "partnership" between the government and the private sector in reviewing policies and procedures periodically, “which considers the interests of all parties involved”. 
 
 

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