Industry Update/National Response
- on 29 Mar.2021, The Royal Decree approved the appointment of Feras Al Hawari as Minister of Health and Yousef Al Shamali as Minister of Labour
- As of Mar. 2021, the COVID-19 cases have again begun increasing in Jordan, and the epidemiological situation is nearing a dangerous point.
- On 15 Mar. 2021, Jordan recorded the highest cases in single-day of COVID-19 with 9,417 cases and 82 death cases.
- As of 16 Mar. 2021, the total number of people who received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is 155,772, and 48,379 got the second jab.
- On 13 Mar.2021, the Jordanian Health Minister handed in his resignation after a medical tragedy occurred in a Jordanian hospital. The Minister of the Interior is acting on behalf of him.
- On 08 Mar. 2021, the Jordanian Labour Minister resigned from his position and the current Minister of Social Development is in charge of managing the MOL.
- On 10 Mar. 2021, the government of Jordan announced new measures to curb the recent surge in coronavirus cases:
- Businesses will be allowed to operate from 6 am until 6 pm, while public movement will be restricted from 7 pm until 6 am, starting from Saturday, March 13 until further notice.
- Worshippers will no longer be permitted to walk to mosques on foot to attend Friday prayer, additionally Sunday masses held in churches will be similarly suspended until the end of March.
- Working hours will be reduced for workers in the public sector, adding that working mothers with children in kindergarten and 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade will be working remotely.
- Closures will also involve shutting down bars (including those at restaurants), nightclubs, discos, gyms, academic and training sports centres, equestrian clubs and indoor swimming pools until the end of March.
- As of 09 Mar. 2021 The total cases of COVID-19 reached over 440,000 (with over 61,000 active cases), with over 5,000 deaths.
- On 24 Feb. 2021 The government announced the re-imposition of Friday lockdowns in Jordan.
- On 11 Feb. 2021 The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research announced that teaching in universities during the second semester of the academic year 2020/2021 will be held remotely.
Factory Service Update
- 25 March: All in-person factory visits have been suspended until further notice.
- Running through May 2021, the Estidama (“Sustainability”) programme will aim to cover 50 per cent of wages for those working in unauthorized institutions. The BWJ team, in collaboration with the Social Security Corporation, hosted an industrial seminar to explain the Estidama programme, which was launched by the Government of Jordan in Dec. 2020. Participants including head managers, administration managers and financial managers attended the seminar.
- In Jan. 2021 and Feb.2021 BWJ team conducted 25 hybrid assessments and 32 Virtual Advisory visits (2 in-person) and 51 training sessions to 493 workers.
- One exporting factory has merged with another exporting factory in the Ad Dulayl industrial zone and one exporting factory has joined business with two sub-contractors in Al Tajamouat Industrial Zone (Sahab).
- As of Feb. 2021 Over 6,000 employees (workers and managers) were infected with COVID-19 across 46 factories, though no factory production is currently closed due to infected cases. Most factories have a small number of local workers contracting COVID-19 and have responded with stay-at-home quarantines.
- As of Jan. 2021, 88 factories were enrolled in Better Work Jordan – 42 direct exporters, 21 subcontractor, 21 satellite units, and four non-garment factories. Six factories closed permanently over the course of 2020, and some factories re-organized themselves. Of the factories that permanently closed, four were direct exporters and two were subcontractors.
Additional Better Work Activities
- The ILO\Better Work Jordan and Jordan Garments, Accessories & Textiles Exporters’ Association (JGATE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2020, which holds true. It signifies the two parties wish to promote the joint cooperation between them to strengthen the exchange of expertise in the domain of work and promotion of industrial relations between workers and employers and to encourage enterprises to comply with the provisions of the Labour Law and the core labour standards of the ILO. The goal of this agreement is to contribute to improving the economic performance of enterprises and their competitiveness, as well as educating workers about their rights and duties based on these outputs. The duration of the MOU is two years.