Jordan: Labour Ministry issues 16,000 flexible work permits for Syrian refugees in construction to improve labour mobility

Author: Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto, The Jordan Times, Published on: 17 September 2018

"16,000 flexible construction work permits issued for Syrian refugees in 2017", 16 September 2018

Over 16,000 flexible working permits for Syrian refugees employed in the construction sector have been issued over the past year... The newly issued permits come as the result of an agreement signed by the Labour Ministry, the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) and the ILO in late August 2017, which aimed at organising the work of Syrian refugees in the construction sector in Jordan through the issuance of work permits that allow employees to move from one employer to another. Head of the Syrian Refugees Department at the Ministry of Labour Hamdan Yacoub [said] “this approach has facilitated the refugees’ access to all professions within the sector and even enabled them to benefit from contracted tasks as a freelancer”... ILO Regional Resilience and Crisis Response specialist Maha Katta discarded the idea that Syrian refugees are hesitant to obtain work permits, noting that “with over 16,000 work permits issued so far under the agreement, it is clear that Syrian refugees are looking forward to formalise their work status”. “However, most... are used to working as daily wage workers or in a self-employed regime, and that is what makes it so difficult for them to find a single employer to sponsor them”... the ILO is “advocating to have this flexible scheme expanded to other sectors, in addition to opening the door to inter-sectorial work permits”...

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