Labour Minister Nidal Katamine on Tuesday said the ministry will take all necessary measures to enforce Article 72 of the Labour Law, which obligates institutions employing 20 women or more with children under the age of four to provide crèches for them.
Noting that the provision encourages women’s participation in the labour market, Katamine added that the number of working women is far below aspirations .
During a meeting with Mazen Maaytah, president of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions , and representatives from the Jordan Teachers Association, the minister noted that in a society where women represent more than 50 per cent of the population , it is unacceptable that their participation in the labour market is still less than 17 per cent.
“The ministry will intensify its inspection visits to companies and other workplaces to ensure their abidance with Article 72,” Katamine said.
He added that the ministry will also ensure that all employers abide by the JD190 minimum wage, especially in the private education sector, following several complaints filed by female teachers at private schools with regards to their salaries.
Katamine said the ministry will discuss with all stakeholders means to implement a unified work contract for teachers in private schools.
Meanwhile, a report issued on Tuesday by a labour advocacy group noted that introducing greater flexibility, near-site crèche facilities, increased use of video-conferencing technology and more job sharing can make women return to the workforce after maternity leave.
The survey, which was conducted by Regus, covered a sample of over 26,000 businesspeople from more than 90 countries.
“Given that authorities agree that higher participation of women in the workforce is vital to sustaining and driving growth, the tide of professional women still finding that the burden of child care forces them out of employment after maternity needs urgently to be stemmed,” the report said.
The findings confirm previous Regus research revealing that 56 per cent of businesses globally value part-time returning mothers because they offer skills and experience that are difficult to find in the current market, while 72 per cent believe that companies that ignore part-time returning mothers are missing out on a significant and valuable part of the employment pool.
“Not only are returning mothers key to economic development, but at a business-by-business level, respondents reported that hiring returning mothers helps improve productivity, possibly by lowering training and hiring costs,” the report added.
“There is a strong case for the greater inclusion of returning mothers in the workforce: Increased GDP, sustained growth, bridging the skills gap and fighting poverty are just some of the benefits,” said Garry Gürtler, Regus VP for Middle East and Africa.
Gürtler added that the benefits of re-integrating women  after maternity are plenty, citing access to skilled and trained workers, less staff turnover and even increased productivity.
“Yet the workforce continues to lose able and trained workers with key skills and qualifications as women find the burden of childcare of cannot be reconciled with working life,” he noted.
Founded in Brussels in 1989, Regus is a global organisation currently headquartered in Luxembourg with business centres in 95 countries.