The Labour Ministry [in Jordan]  on Monday said it has amended the regulations governing the working hours of domestic helpers in households, reducing their workday from 10 to eight hours.
In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, the ministry said the decision corresponds to its efforts to secure more rights for guest workers to be in compliance with the Labour Law and international criteria governing the labour sector.
Labour Minister Nidal Katamine stressed the importance of abiding by the Labour Law, especially articles that require employers to provide the ministry with complete details of their employees and their job descriptions, as well as the need for keeping an updated record of their personal and work details.
“The ministry will not hesitate to take the appropriate legal action against those who do not abide by the regulations and will enforce the law, which stipulates fining violators between JD50-500,” the statement quoted Katamine as saying.
He added that this practice makes the ministry’s work easier with regards to its efforts aimed at addressing unemployment and labourers’ rights.
The ministry also noted that more than 7,206 domestic helpers had benefited from a two-month grace period that offered them the opportunity to rectify their work status.
Earlier this month, the ministry addressed the diplomatic missions of countries whose nationals work in the Kingdom, urging them to encourage their citizens to abide by the laws and regulations governing work in Jordan.
At the time, Labour Ministry Secretary General Hamdah Abu Nejmeh pointed out that the ministry decided to implement an inspection campaign after most of the domestic helpers failed to take advantage of a 60-day grace period,  which ended on February 6, to regulate their status in accordance with the law.
“The campaign will continue as long as there are workers breaching the regulations,” the official said, adding that most of the domestic helpers who have been caught by the inspectors were from the Philippines, followed by Sri Lankans and Indonesians.
Abu Nejmeh explained that violators will be repatriated to their countries and banned from entering the Kingdom for three years, adding that their employers will be prevented from recruiting guest workers in the future and be subject to legal action in accordance with the law.
Meanwhile, the ministry noted that a total of 58,458 guest workers renewed their work permits or rectified their status in accordance with labour regulations during the grace period, which ended on March 7.
According to the ministry, nearly 70 per cent of the foreign labourers who benefited from the government decision were Egyptians, while 38.6 per cent of the domestic helpers who renewed their work permits or rectified their work status were Filipinas.