Circular No. 56 to spark disputes between workers, employers

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AMMAN — Government Circular No. 56, which was issued on Tuesday, is bound to spark disputes between workers and employers, as it is based on the provisions of Defense Order No. 6 of 2020, concerning the termination or renewal of work contracts, Al-Rai daily reported. اضافة اعلان

The circular declared invalid provisions regarding the automatic termination or renewal of work contracts contained in Defense Order No. 6, and the circulars issued pursuant thereto regarding workers hired after its entry into force in the institutions and establishments of the private sector, or any other entity subject to the Labor Law, irrespective of whether these institutions or establishments, or other entities, existed before Defense Order No 6 of 2020 order came into force.

Minister of Labor Nayef Steitieh assured workers that the latest circular will not affect the interests of workers; rather, it is a regulation that concerns those who were appointed after April 8, 2020, and will not entail laying off workers. He added that whoever was appointed after that date will be subject to the Labor Law which protects rights in case of violations, including being laid off without legal reason.

He stressed that any circular related to work and workers is studied by a ministerial legal committee, and no decision taken by this committee prejudices the rights of workers.

Head of the Labor Union, Mazen Al-Maaytah, said that “the current work conditions remain difficult because there is an increase in the unemployment rate at a time the repercussions of the pandemic continue to affect the workers’ situation”.

Maaytah said that he opposes the termination of workers’ services and supports job stability, and pointed out that the circular does not clarify who is to be excluded from Defense Order No. 6, nor does it differentiate between fixed-term contracts and other types of contracts. He added that the circular allows the employer to terminate the services of workers on “unlimited-term” contracts.

Director of the Workers’ House Hamada Abu Nijma said that the circular is contradictory: “On the one hand, the government insists that it does not cancel Defense Order No. 56, which protects workers against dismissals, while on the other hand, Circular 56 removes protection for a wide category of workers.”

Ministry of Labor spokesman Muhammad Al-Zayoud said that all work contracts signed before Defense Order No. 6 was issued, meaning before April 8, 2020, are still subject to its provisions.

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