Jordan has ratified the Equal Remuneration Convention No. 100 of 1951 (C100) and the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention No. 111 of 1958 (C111), which are the two core International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions addressing discrimination regarding employment and occupation.
Women’s employment is prohibited from some occupations considered arduous or that may pose health and safety risks, including in mines, shipping and dock work, foundry work, making mirrors involving mercury, handling of explosives, mineral welding, exposure to lead, and making electrical batteries, pitch, or rubber.
Pregnant women are prohibited from working in jobs where they risk being exposed to X-rays, oil and petrol derivatives, and other substances that risk the health of the foetus.
There is no prohibition on discrimination by employers on the grounds of sex or gender in recruitment and hiring for employment.
REMAINING IN EMPLOYMENT
The Constitution provides that “every worker shall receive wages commensurate with the quantity and quality of his work and last year (2019) penalties were introduced for employers who discriminate on the payment of wages based on gender.
Employers are also prohibited from terminating women starting from the sixth month of pregnancy or during maternity leave.
Public sector employees are entitled to 90 days of maternity leave. Women employed in the private sector are entitled to 70 days maternity leave on full pay, which is paid by the government rather than the employer. This is less than the 14 weeks leave period required by ILO standards. The Social Security Law provides for government maternity benefits to be financed through a 0.75 per cent payroll tax paid by the employer on behalf of male and female employees.
Every woman who works in an establishment employing ten or more workers is entitled to a maximum of one year’s unpaid leave to bring up her children. Employers with at least 20 married women workers must provide childcare for children under four years, if at least ten children are in such an age group.
The Regulation of Flexible Work System, No. 22 of 2017, was introduced to provide greater flexibility in employment conditions for workers with family responsibilities, such as women with responsibilities for childcare and pregnant women.
WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Labour Code allows an employee to resign from work without notice if the employee has been a survivor of a sexual assault perpetrated by the employer or the employer’s representative.
It does not grant this right if the assault is committed by another worker in the workplace. If the Minister finds that an employer or their representative assaulted a worker, by beating or sexual abuse, the Minister may order closure of the establishment for a period that is deemed appropriate.
Sexual harassment can be punished as the offence of unwanted sexual conduct under the Penal Code Articles 305 and 306. The Penal Code was amended in 2011 to increase the penalties relating to sexual crimes where the perpetrator was a relative of the female or has legal authority over her, e.g., a wali, employer, or supervisor (Article 306 bis). Articles 296–299 and Article 320 criminalize indecent acts, however, it does not specify what these acts may entail.
The Ministry of Labour has established a dedicated office (Women’s Employment Directorate) to deal with complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace. The office is accessible to migrant domestic workers, and interpreters are provided
The rights of domestic workers have been covered by regulations issued under the Labour Code since 2008. These provide for a maximum of ten hours of work per day, a minimum of eight hours of continuous rest each day, a weekly day of rest and regular salary payments.
Jordan relies on foreign migrant workers in several key industries, including domestic work.
In 2015, the government estimated there were 53,000 foreign female domestic workers in Jordan, primarily from South-East Asia and East Africa. Despite inclusion of domestic workers in regulations issued under the Labour Code, abuses are still reported, including for non-payment of wages, confiscation of identity documents, restricted freedom of movement, long hours without rest, and verbal and physical abuse.
Female domestic workers are also extremely vulnerable to sexual harassment and exploitation.
SEX WORK AND ANTI-PROSTITUTION LAWS
Selling sex is a criminal offence under the Penal Code.
Use of the Internet to promote prostitution is a crime under the Electronic Crimes Law.