SSC decision will worsen unemployment among young people – Labor Observatory

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Jordanian Labor Observatory asked the Social Security Corporation (SSC) to reverse its decision regarding workers in some establishments who are not allowed to subscribe to the corporation. اضافة اعلان

The decision, with the SSC started to implement at the beginning of this month, stipulates that people under the age of 28 working in the agricultural production and information technology sectors cannot contribute to SSC for their retirement until the beginning of 2024.

The observatory said in a position paper it issued under the title “Social Security Amendments: A Regression in Social Protections for Youth” that implementing this decision contradicts the government instruction to ensure the participation of young people in the labor market at a time when the unemployment rate among youths exceeded 50 percent.

The paper stressed that “this will make it difficult for young people to find work, and will make them lose at least five years of subscription to one of the most important old-age insurance systems, provided by the Social Security Law”.

In 2019, the government approved an amendment to Article 4 of the Social Security Law, which allows SSC to exclude workers younger than 28 in certain sectors from coverage if they are insured with other establishments.

The observatory paper said: “This amendment tends to support employers in certain economic sectors instead of providing basic social protection for all workers, which we believe is a dangerous approach that shows Jordanian governments abandoning their responsibility to support the private sector with other tools, and throwing a heavy burden on workers”.

President of Workers’ House Hamadah Abu Nejmeh said that the amendments made to the Social Security Law in 2019 “were not fair”.

“They affected the essence of the social security system, and were prepared without consultations with the relevant parties, and without being presented to the Board of Directors of the SSC, as required by law,” he said.

“Despite the numerous observations made by experts, specialists, and civil society organizations, and the government’s call to withdraw the project and redesign it toward strengthening and expanding social protections within the framework of the social security system, and despite the opening of an effective and comprehensive national dialogue on the basis of the minimum protections contained in the International Labor Organization Convention No. 102, ratified by the Jordanian government five years ago, it is unfortunate that the government and the Lower House continued to work on approving the amendments without taking into account the negative effects they had been warned against,” Abu Nejmeh added.

According to Abu Nejmeh, “the SSC was granted the authority to exclude workers aged 28 years and under from being covered by old-age insurance for a period of five years in new establishments that employ 25 workers or less, despite the high unemployment numbers among the youth group, which are among the highest rates in the world”.

The government’s enforcing of defense orders infringes on workers’ right to social security, he said, adding that the decision, responding to pressure from employers, “to postpone the application of old-age insurance and other insurances to workers in the agricultural sector until the end of 2023, is a blow to the legislative progress” made in the agricultural sector “when the system was promulgated in May 2021 to include agricultural workers for the first time in the Labor Law and in social security”, he noted.

Observatory spokesperson Nadim Abdel Samad said that implementing the SSC decision does nothing to help unemployment rates, which reached 52.2 percent in the last quarter of 2021, “an unprecedented number in recent years”.

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