The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is moving to issue a “private sector labor” law after amending 26 articles, including raising wages and ensuring entitlement to maternity leave and other articles.
President Assad had issued the current Law No. 17 in 2010, which aimed to regulate the relationship between the worker and employer, but it resulted in the dismissal of 100,000 Syrians from their work, according to previous statistics, and sources in the Social Affairs Ministry.
The Ministry asked legal figures, judges and economic and social actors to make notes on the draft of the Private Sector Labor Law No. 17 and present them to the committee formed to review the law.
The Director of Labor in the Ministry, Mahmoud Dummarani, said that 26 articles in the law had been amended, most importantly increasing the wages by nine percent, an increase which workers are entitled to every two years, while the worker also cannot leave work without prior warning, and without informing the employer, where there will be regulations for this matter.
According to Dummarani, “the amendments will also cover the issuance of licenses to private employment offices, which will be issued by way of a decision from the concerned minister, who is working to ensure that the requests of Syrian employers and employees registered with these offices or who contract with them are met. The amendments also give an employee, who has spent six continuous months with an employer, the right to maternity leave with full pay for 120 days for each birth for the first three children.”
The amendments included, “For workers not covered by social security provisions or only covered for work injuries, the amendments obliged employers to pay their workers, at the end of their service, a compensation calculated on the basis of a monthly wage for every year of service.”
Dummarani said that, “after notes are given, there will be a final meeting with the Justice Ministry and the Labor Union to submit a final version to the concerned authority to be issued officially.”
He said that the most important criticisms directed at the current law included the employer’s ability to dismiss employees arbitrarily and their lack of rights. The amendment to the law came two years after the calls to amend it by the Labor Federation and other unions.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.