Jordan reviews legislation on equal pay and child labour

Legal amendments on equal remuneration and child labour under discussion.

News | 04 July 2013
AMMAN (ILO News) – Jordan is taking steps to strengthen its legal framework to promote equal pay for women and men and to effectively tackle child labour.

A three-day meeting that began on Wednesday (July 3) has brought together representatives from the Ministry of Labour, the National Steering Committee on Pay Equity (NSCPE), the National Committee on Child Labour, the Labour and Finance Committee of the Jordanian Parliament and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to discuss amendments to the current Labour Law (No. 8 of 1996) and its related Interim Act (No. 26 of 2010).

The meeting aims to inform Labour and Finance Committee discussions on labour law reform prior to the progress of the amendments through Parliament and the Senate in August 2013.

“We will do our best to achieve a progressive labour law that is compatible with international standards in relation to child labour, the gender pay gap and other labour issues,’’ said Adnan al-Sawair, Chair of the Labour and Development Committee in the Jordanian Parliament.

Child Labour

The meeting will examine amendments to labour legislation in relation to child labour, based on a legislative review by the National Council for Family Affairs published in 2010.

“This is a genuine opportunity to include articles in the law that render the compliance of private and public institutions compulsory. Jordan current has legislation that deals with pay equity and child protection but we need stronger implementation mechanisms,’’ said Dr. Nidal Katamine, Jordan’s Minister of Labour and Minister of Transport.

In 2011, Jordan adopted the National Framework to Combat Child Labour in efforts to improve its policy and legislative environment. The Framework outlines the roles and responsibilities of Government ministries through a referral mechanism that identifies child labourers, withdraws them from work, provides them with appropriate education and social services, and monitors their progress.

The ILO, through a US Department of Labour-funded project “Moving Towards a Child Labour Free Jordan”, has worked with its partners from the Ministries of Labour, Social Development and Education, social partners and members of the National Committee on Child Labour to launch a series of activities to pilot the Framework in 2013 in three Governorates: Amman, Mafraq and Zarqa.

Pay Equity

The meeting comes after a legal study commissioned by the ILO and the NSCPE, funded by the Norwegian government, was launched in May under the Patronage of HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal. The study puts forward legal amendments to promote equal remuneration for all workers in line with international standards, including the ILO’s Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100). Research on pay discrimination in private schools and universities has highlighted a stark pay gap between women and men. Jordan’s current legal framework lacks comprehensive provisions to encourage women to join the labour market and promote equality in the workplace.

“This is an opportunity for a breakthrough in promoting equal opportunities at work. The current labour law has eleven articles that could be amended to embrace the principles of non-discrimination and to provide women with more opportunities to combine and share work and family responsibilities, and to promote an environment that values women and men’s work in a fair way,’’ said Emanuela Pozzan, ILO Senior Specialist on Gender Equality.

For more information, please contact: Nisreen Bathish Abou Ragheb, Jordan Communications Officer, International Labour Organization, Email:, Mobile: +962 79 90 480 12