WHAT ARE THE WORK PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES?

Minimum age for non-Jordanians to work and obtain a work permit is 18.

Documents required from the worker:

  1. Valid Service Card issued by the Ministry of Interior (MoI);
  2. One personal passport size photo;
  3. Medical examination, provided that it is conducted at healthcare directorates and centres accredited by the Ministry of Health in the Governorates.

Documents required from the employer: 

  1. Certificate of Incorporation/ Commercial Registry Certificate;
  2. Professional licence certificate;
  3. A statement from Social Security confirming registration of the company;
  4. A statement from Social Security listing the employees of the company (first time employees will not be on this list, but Social Security subscription will be requested upon renewal);
  5. Two copies of a written contract signed by both parties (employer and employee) – each party to keep 1 copy;
  6. Identity Card of the employer or an authorization from the employer allowing a delegate to apply for the work permit signed by the employer;
  7. Bank statement or legal guarantee of the company;
  8. A summons form addressed to the director of the concerned directorate.

Documents required from the individual employer in the agricultural sector (not a cooperative)

  1. The record issued by the Directorate of Agriculture stating the land surface, the type of tenure and the kind of irrigation used;
  2. Two copies of a written contract signed by both parties (employer and employee) – each party to keep 1 copy;
  3. Identity Card of the employer or an authorization from the employer allowing a delegate to apply for the work permit signed by the employer;
  4. A recent copy of the land registration certificate from the Lands Department, or the artesian water well license and the clearance from the Water Authority.

Documents required from the agriculture cooperative:

  1. Registration certificate of the cooperative, which is issued by the Jordanian Cooperative Enterprise;
  2. Letter from the cooperative requesting the work permit, enlisting the names of the applicants for work permits;
  3. Authorization letter from the cooperative to the designated person in charge of issuing and receiving the work permit;
  4. A summons form addressed to the director of the concerned directorate.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE TO OBTAIN A WORK PERMIT?

For the employer

  1. Approach the nearest Labour Directorate where the employer/company is registered;
  2. Fill out the application form;
  3. Attach the required documents mentioned above;
  4. Wait for approval of the Ministry of Labour/ Labour Directorate.

For job seekers in the agriculture and construction sectors (non-employer specific)

  1. For agricultural activities: work permits must be requested through agricultural cooperatives;
  2. For construction sector: flexible work permits must be requested through the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions, the only body authorized to facilitate the issuance of construction work permits not tied to an employer.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN LEGAL RIGHTS OF WORKERS IN JORDAN?

  1. The right for the employee to receive a copy of a written employment contract and to keep it. The employer is entitled to prove his/her rights by all legal methods if the contract is not in writing, including witnesses, directing the oath, and every agreement, condition, or contract that requires the worker to waive any of the rights granted by the law;
  2. The right for the employee to receive a work permit, which is one of the commitments for the employer as instructed by law;
  3. The right to a minimum wage;
  4. The right to have 1 paid day off per week: either on Friday, or any other day of the week as per requirement of the job;
  5. Every worker has the right to 14 days of annual leave per year, unless agreed upon more days. After 5 consecutive years or more with the same employer, the entitlement becomes 21 days of annual leave;
  6. Each worker has the right to 14 days of full paid sick leave per year, based on a certified medical report. The sick leave may be renewed for another 14 days with full pay based on a medical report by an authorized doctor as per the company standards (for companies of less than 20 employees), or by a medical committee (for companies of more than 20 employees);
  7. Maximum working hours are 8 hours a day or up to 48 hours per week. If an employee works for more than eight hours per day and/or 48 hours per week, he/she is entitled to overtime compensation. Time allocated for food and rest is not considered part of the working hours;
  8. The right to receive overtime compensation if working on weekends or national/religious holidays. The employee may agree to work over the regular working hours. In that case, the overtime wage is 125% of his usual wage during weekdays and 150% during holidays, public holidays and weekly holidays;
  9. The wages must be paid within a maximum of seven days from the due date;
  10. Women have the right to paid maternity leave for a total of 10 weeks (paid by the Social Security), and the right to one paid hour for nursing per day for a period of one year from the date of delivery; if the employee is not enrolled in Social Security, it is the company/employer’s responsibility to cover the costs of the maternity leave;
  11. The right to be enrolled into Social Security (except for those who are holding flexible work permits in the construction and agriculture sectors, knowing that employees who have regular work permits under the supervision of a specific employer/company/entity can be enrolled in Social Security as they are considered employees under the labour law);
  12. The right to be medically treated and receive compensation in the case of any work-related injury;
  13. The employee has the right to keep his/her passport and all his/her personal and identity documents;
  14. The worker must always carry his/her work permit, and it needs to be presented to the authorities when/if requested;
  15. The employee commits to not breaking labour laws;

WHAT ARE THE EMPLOYEE’S COMMITMENTS TOWARDS THE EMPLOYER (PER JORDANIAN LABOUR LAW)?

  1. The employee must do the job and present efforts;
  2. The employee must commit to the employer’s orders relating to work within the limits that do not expose him/her to any dangers and do not contradict the laws;
  3. The employee must maintain the industrial and commercial confidentiality of the employer;
  4. The employee must handle with care any equipment used at work;
  5. The employee must undergo the necessary medical tests.

SHOULD I PAY FOR THE WORK PERMIT?

Work permits for Syrian workers are free of charge until the end of the year 2021. As a practice, the 10 JODs processing fee requested by Ministry of Labour needs to be paid by the employee.

In the agricultural sector, the worker needs to pay the 13 JODs processing through the Jordanian Cooperative Enterprise, receiving a receipt for the payment.

In the construction sector, applying for a flexible work permit costs 57 JODs (including all fees and insurance against work-related injuries) through the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions, receiving a receipt for the payment.

For other sectors, the fees of issuing a regular work permit are 10 JODs, paid by the employer.

WHAT ARE THE OCUPATIONS THAT I CAN WORK IN?

Non-Jordanian employees are permitted to work in the different occupations as per the mentioned ratios in the Ministry of Labour’s instructions on foreign employees for each sector, with the exception of occupations listed among the closed sectors. To find out the list of closed sectors, please visit the Ministry of Labour’s website.

CAN YOU KEEP YOUR REFUGEES STATUS AFTER OBTAINING LEGAL EMPLOYMENTANDCAN YOU RECEIVE ASSISTANCE?

There will be no change to the status of Syrians registered with UNHCR once you receive your work permit. UNHCR and partner organisations are committed to continue providing assistance based on needs and vulnerabilities.

ARE YOU STILL CONSIDERED FOR RESETTLEMENT IF THEY HAVE A WORK PERMIT?

Syrian refugees holding work permits may still be considered for UNHCR resettlement to third countries.

IS ENROLMENT IN THE SOCIAL SECURITY MANDATORY AND WHAT IS IT FOR?

Social Security subscription is mandatory. It covers:

  1. Work-related injuries
  2. Retirement
  3. Disability insurance
  4. Death insurance
  5. Maternity insurance
  6. Unemployment insurance where applicable

The subscription is a joint responsibility of the employer and the employee and is to be paid on monthly basis and shall be calculated as follows:

Employer’s contribution to social security 14.25%
Employee’s contribution to social security 7.50%

For instances of flexible work permits, it is possible to enrol in the social security (optionally). It is worth noting that construction workers (with an open work permit through the  General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions) need to subscribe for a private insurance instead of Social Security, and keep the original copy of the signed insurance policy to submit in the cases of work-related injuries or compensation for death (within the coverage limits foreseen by the policy itself).

A foreign worker can retrieve what he/she and the employer contributed directly through the Social Security department for the first time, regardless of the amount, and for the second time after completing 24 months of a new subscription, as long as the employee has a contract covering all periods of subscription. For more information on Social Security, please call ARDD – Legal Aid on their hotline: 064617477. Working hours are from 9AM to 6PM, from Sunday to Thursday.

CAN CAMP REFUGEES WORK LEGALLY WITH WORK PERMITS?

Refugees residing in camps can obtain a work permit free of charge to work across the country in occupations open to non-Jordanians. Work permit holders will be able to work outside the camps. The work permit serves as a one month leave permit, facilitating the movement in and out of the camp. Processing fees described above apply.

WHO SHOULD BE CONTACTED IN CASE OF QUESTIONS OR DISPUTES?

GENERAL INQUIRIES: UNHCR Helpline: 064008000.

SPECIFIC WORK PERMIT AND LABOUR LAW RELATED QUESTIONS: The Ministry of Labour has a free hotline that receives calls regarding labour law issues and is committed to improve the rights of all workers in Jordan: Free line: 080 022 208, Zain network: 0796580666, Orange network: 0777580666, Umniah network: 0785602666or through WhatsApp: 0790955557 and email: [email protected]. The hotline has answering machines that receive complaints after 3:30PM.

LEGAL ISSUES: For legal counselling and/or mediation, please contact ARDD-Legal aid at 06-4617477 operating Sunday-Thursday, 9AM to 6PM; or approach the Legal Unit in UNHCR Amman-Khalda.

NB: you may approach the Ministry of Labour regarding any complaint relating to labour, even if you do not have a work permit. The worker may also approach any Labour Directorate and Ministry of Labour offices countrywide to seek help or advice relating to labour and rights.

IF YOUR WORK PERMIT HAS EXPIRED, DO YOU NEED THE CLEARANCE OF YOUR FORMER EMPLOYER OR YOUR SPONSOR TO GET A NEW ONE?

No. You can transfer to a new employer when the permit has expired without the clearance of the previous employer. The worker holding a regular work permit is also allowed to transfer from an employer to another without the need of any clearance.

CAN I MOVE FROM ONE SECTOR TO ANOTHER?

A worker can move from an employer to another within any of the other sectors or industries, as long as the employment is in one of the open sectors for non-Jordanian workers, and that is without the need to request a clearance and provided that the work permit has expired or was canceled by the previous employer or the authorized representative.

DO YOU NEED A CERTIFICATE OF PRIOR LEARNING TO OBTAIN A WORK PERMIT IN THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR?

You do not need to attend a training course and have a certificate to obtain a work permit in the construction sector anymore. However, we encourage everyone to obtain a certificate of prior learning through one of ILO’s programmes, or any other authorized entity.

YOU WORK IN A SHORT TERM LABOR INTENSIVE PROGRAMME (cash-for-work). ARE YOU ENTITLED TO A WORK PERMIT?

Yes. The agency/institution implementing the project in the field (municipalities, field directorates of line ministries, NGOs or associations) will apply for the work permit to the Ministry of Labour. The work permit will have a duration based on the duration of your contract and for a maximum period of six months.

WHAT EXEMPTIONS ARE INCLUDED IN THE LABOUR LAW FOR SYRIAN REFUGEE WORKERS?

  1. Exemption of the additional fees upon issuance or renewal of work permits, and stamp fees;
  2. Exemption of fines for non-renewal of work permits;
  3. Exemption from work permit fees and the additional amount payable to the worker for all years in which a work permit has not been issued retroactively;
  4. Exemption of fees for conducting medical examinations, provided that examinations are conducted in the healthcare directorates and centers accredited by the Ministry of Health in the Governorates.

I HAVE A FLEXIBLE WORK PERMIT IN THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR AND WORK IN THE SERVICES SECTOR. IS IT CONSIDERED TO BE AN OFFENSE?

Yes. Working in a sector other than the one permitted in the work permit – and in this case working in a sector other than the agriculture sector while owning a flexible agricultural permit – is considered to be against the labour laws and may expose the concerned worker to fines.