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‘2,700 illegal guest workers caught so far this year’

By Laila Azzeh - Mar 02,2017 - Last updated at Mar 02,2017

AMMAN — The Labour Ministry has detected 2,700 illegal guest workers of different nationalities since the start of the year, according to the Labour Ministry. 

On Wednesday, the ministry’s inspectors caught 118 illegal guest labourers found working in different sectors, said Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Khatib, who noted that the “huge number of detected illegal workers is a reflection of authorities’ seriousness in streamlining the labour market”. 

In a statement released Thursday, the head of the ministry’s inspection department, Abdullah Jbour, noted that inspectors have been checking on different sectors, especially the agricultural field, to make sure that guest workers do not serve in professions that are only designated to Jordanians.

With the ministry estimating that there are about 1.4 million guest workers in Jordan; 1 million are believed to be illegal. 

“We urge all corporations and institutions to abide by the law and rectify the situation of their workers. We will not be lenient with violators; be they business owners of labourers,” Labour Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Khatib told The Jordan Times. 

The Cabinet has endorsed regulations to unify fees for issuing or renewing annual work permits for non-Jordanians at JD500.

Part of the fees will be allocated to support the Employment-Technical and Vocational Education Training Fund and the agricultural sector through soft loans from the Agricultural Credit Corporation, the Cabinet has said.

The Cabinet also decided to reduce the fees to renew guest worker permits to JD400, exempting employers from paying an additional JD100.

In addition, a 50 per cent reduction has been granted on the fees due for the elapsed period between the expiry of work permits and their renewals if a guest worker chooses to stay with his/her employer.

A similar reduction is granted to employers in the agricultural sector whose hired guest workers wish to move to another sector after their permit expires.

Permit fees and any additional costs imposed on employers are cut by 60 per cent if the guest worker wishes to leave the Kingdom indefinitely.

Under another exemption for the agricultural sector, employers are only be required to pay JD300 to renew work permits for guest labourers wishing to stay on with them, in addition to JD200 as a bank guarantee, the Cabinet said in a decision taken in February.

 

There are 19 professions closed to guest labour, while jobs open for these workers include set quotas for foreign labour, including 40 per cent in gas stations.

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