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Proposed Social Security Law amendments draw mixed reaction

By JT - Jul 01,2019 - Last updated at Jul 01,2019

AMMAN — The Jordan Labour Watch (JLW) on Sunday praised the recent amendments made to the Social Security Law relating to servicemen, but in the same vein it “strongly” condemned other changes that might affect minimum levels of social protection of workers in “modern business facilities”.

A statement issued by the JLW, affiliated with the Phoenix Centre for Economic and Information Studies, labelled as “unfair” the amendments made to cancelling the early retirement option for new subscribers without inserting new regulations related to salaries, dismissal from work and unemployment insurance.

In the statement, a copy of which was sent to The Jordan Times, the JLW said that these amendments would “deepen faults and gaps that are currently affecting the social security system effective in the Kingdom now”.

The JLW also deplored adopting policies to encourage investment and stimulate the economy at the expense of employees by bypassing their rights.

The statement also called for implementing parallel policies instead of abolishing early retirement for new subscribers to the social security, suggesting the reduction of the value of social security subscriptions to all. 

Moreover, the JLW called for having “clear standards” in applying the Labour Law that address issues related to dismissal at certain ages that send employees to unemployment before reaching the age of compulsory or early retirement, as it would be difficult for them to find new jobs. 

The statement also called on the government to offer facilities and incentives for new investments through other tools that do not affect the rights of employees, such as granting them lower taxes on production inputs and reducing bank interests on loans granted to these new investments.  

The JLW urged all human right institutions and associations to challenge these amendments as part of efforts to safeguard social protection. 

The Social Security Corporation (SSC) has said that the decision to cancel early retirement would only cover first-time SSC subscribers once the draft law goes into effect.

SSC spokesperson Mousa Sbeihi on Saturday underlined that the cancellation of early retirement would present SSC beneficiaries with the chance to receive “worthwhile” pensions in the future by maximising the period of their subscription, while guaranteeing the SSC’s financial sustainability and the continuation of its social and economic role.
  The decision would also protect workers in the future and support their stability within the job market across various economic sectors, in addition to enhancing the SSC’s contribution towards achieving productivity and cohesion, the corporation said.

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