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18 Jun 2020

Sara Kayyali, Human Rights Watch

Jordan: Rights group condemn that vulnerable workers will pay the price for COVID-19

"Jordan's vulenrable will pay the price for protecting businesses", HRW 14 June 2020

Like many governments around the world, Jordan has been forced to take urgent economic measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In April, it used emergency decrees to alter labor and social security laws, and on May 31, it further loosened labor protections. Private employers in sectors most affected by the pandemic can now fire or cut the salaries of employees who cannot work remotely by up to 60 percent –  as long as their total salary does not fall below 150 Jordanian Dinars (JDs) (US$211) per month – all without government approval or oversight. The government will not be paying the wage difference.

Removing wage protections will make the situation worse, especially because some employers who have not suffered adverse effects from the pandemic may abuse the law to lower wages arbitrarily. Jordan Labor Watch, a non-profit group that monitors economic rights, has already documented such cases.