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Last updated at December 18, 2023
landscape view of Amman city, Jordan

Jordanian Currency

Jordanian Dinar (JOD)

The Capital of Jordan

Amman

Time Zone in Jordan

GMT + 3

Important Facts About the Country of Jordan

Introduction to Jordan

Jordan, officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a Western Asian nation. Positioned on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, it occupies a strategic location at the intersection of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Amman serves as the nation’s capital, being not only its largest city but also the pivotal center for economic, political and cultural activities. With a population of approximately 10 million people, Jordan ranks as the eleventh most populous Arab nation. It operates under a constitutional monarchy system, wherein the king wields significant executive and legislative powers. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and is considered an upper-middle-income economy.

What to Know about Jordan's Geography

Jordan is flanked by neighboring nations on various sides. To the south and east, it shares borders with Saudi Arabia. Its northeastern boundary is formed by Iraq, while to the north, it is bordered by Syria. On the western side, Jordan is encompassed by the Palestinian West Bank, Israel and the Dead Sea. Additionally, Jordan boasts a 26 kilometer coastline along the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba, creating a separation from Egypt. In total, Jordan’s land area spans approximately 89,000 square kilometers.

Climate in Jordan

Jordan experiences a highly diverse climate with distinct seasonal variations. The summer months, lasting from May to September, are characterized by scorching and arid conditions, with temperatures occasionally soaring beyond 40 °C, particularly in July and August. On the other hand, the winter period, extending from November to March, brings milder temperatures, averaging around 11 °C. In certain elevated western areas, winters are marked by frequent rainfall and occasional snowfall, adding a touch of wintry charm to the landscape.

The Culture of Jordan

Jordan is an integral part of the Arab world and thus shares the region’s cultural heritage. The family is the focal point of Jordanian society. The extended family, agriculture and hospitality shape village life. Urban Jordanians, on the other hand, appreciate all aspects of modern culture, from musical concerts to operas and ballet performances.

Religions Observed in Jordan

Jordan’s religious landscape is predominantly shaped by Sunni Islam, which stands as the prevailing faith embraced by approximately 95% of the population. Alongside the Sunni majority, there exist smaller communities of Ahmadi Muslims and Shiites, contributing to the country’s religious diversity. Notably, Jordan boasts a historical connection with some of the world’s oldest Christian communities. Presently, Christians constitute around 4% of the population, highlighting the coexistence of various religious beliefs within the nation’s social fabric.

Languages Spoken in Jordan

Modern Standard Arabic holds the position of the official language in Jordan. However, in everyday communication, most Jordanians use one of the non-standard Arabic dialects, commonly known as Jordanian Arabic. Although English does not hold official status, it has gained widespread usage across the country. English serves as the de facto language of commerce and banking, making it an essential tool for effective communication in various spheres of life.

Jordanian Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Jordan

The cornerstone of employment regulations in Jordan is the Labor Law of 1996, accompanied by its subsequent amendments. This comprehensive legislation comprehensively addresses labor-related matters throughout the country, serving as the principal legal framework governing employment relationships. The provisions of this law are applicable to all individuals falling within the defined categories of employees and employers. In addition to the Labor Law, there are other significant legal frameworks that play a vital role in shaping the employment landscape in Jordan:

  • The Jordanian Constitution
  • Act No. 56 of 1996 concerning labor inspection
  • Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases Instructions of 1993
  • Act No. 19 of 2001 on social security

Employment Contracts in Jordan

In Jordan, employment contracts are required to be drafted in both English and Arabic, although translations are less common nowadays. If no such agreement is reached, employees have the right to utilize any legal evidence to assert their entitlements.

By law, a written employment contract must contain the following information:

  • Whether the contract is for an indefinite period or has a specific duration, in which case the precise timeframe should be specified.
  • The number of copies of the contract to be provided and the languages in which it should be presented.
  • Clearly stated details regarding the salaries to be paid to the employee. In case the salary is not explicitly mentioned, the employee is entitled to receive a salary comparable to that of individuals performing similar work.
  • A comprehensive outline of the employee’s duties, responsibilities, position, and the nature of work they will be engaged in.
  • The primary location or principal place of employment, along with any provisions regarding the employer’s right to alter such location.
  • The probationary period, if applicable.

Fixed Term Contacts for Jordanian Employees

In Jordan, employment contracts can be categorized as either indefinite or definite. For fixed-term contracts, the maximum duration allowed is five years and there are no restrictions on renewals. However, if a fixed-term contract reaches its expiration without a renewal clause or without termination by either party, it automatically converts into an indefinite-term contract. This extends indefinitely.

In the event that an employer decides not to renew a fixed-term contract, they are required to provide the employee with a written notice period of 30 days. If the contract specifies a longer notice period, the employer must adhere to that duration accordingly.

Pre-Employment Checks

Jordanian law does not prohibit pre-employment checks.

Jordan's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

The probation period in any case shall not exceed three months.

During the probation period, the employer reserves the right to terminate the employee’s employment without prior notification or any compensation.

Upon successful completion of the probationary period and continuous employment, the employee’s contract will be considered indefinite. The period of probation will then be counted as part of the employee’s total service duration.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Jordan

Under a six-day workweek, the legal working time is set at 48 hours, excluding designated rest and meal breaks. On the seventh day, employees are entitled to a paid weekly holiday.

In Jordan, private businesses commonly observe Friday as their weekend holiday, while banks and government offices typically close on both Fridays and Saturdays.

Jordanian Laws Regarding Overtime

Any work hours exceeding the regular 48 hours per week must be compensated as overtime as per the terms outlined in the employment contract or collective agreements. The usual practice for overtime pay is to calculate it at a rate of 120% of the regular salary.

Moreover, if an employee works on their designated weekly day off or during religious or official holidays, they are entitled to additional compensation, with a minimum rate set at 150% of their usual pay.

Jordanian Timesheets & Record Keeping

There is no statutory requirement for employers to keep attendance and retain records. However, this practice is recommended.

Termination

According to Section 21 of Jordan’s Labor Code, the following circumstances constitute the termination of an employment contract:

  • The contract’s term has expired or the task itself has been finished.
  • The employee passes away or is rendered unable to work because of a disease or disability.
  • Unless the contract took into account the employer’s personality, the death of an employer shall not result in the termination of the employment contract.

Ordinary termination (with notice) and extraordinary termination (without notice) are distinguished in the Jordanian Labor Code.

Ordinary Termination: The employer or employee must provide written notice of termination at least one month before the desired last day. If the employer gives notice, he may or may not release the employee from employment for the duration of the notice term, with the exception of the final seven days of the notice period. The employee is always entitled to his salary during the notice period. Employees who leave their jobs on their own initiative and before the end of the notice period are not entitled to pay during that time and must pay the employer the equivalent of their own wages during that time.

If the employment agreement is for a fixed term, it may be terminated before that time by either the employer or the employee for any of the reasons listed in section 29 of this Code. These reasons are as follows:

  • the work is different from what was agreed upon in the contract
  • circumstances necessitate a change of residence
  • medical reasons

In this case, the employee is still entitled to all benefits and entitlements outlined in the contract. The employer may seek damages from the employee if the worker terminates the contract for a specific amount of time for any cause other than those mentioned above.

Employees are protected against dismissal in the following scenarios:

  • On authorized holidays, sick leave or maternity leave
  • Pregnant employees in their sixth month of pregnancy or after
  • During the military service period

Terminated employees may file a complaint with the labor court alleging unfair dismissal;. If this is successful, they may be given reinstatement or compensation equal to half a month’s salary for each year of employment (minimum of two months’ salaries). They may also receive notice pay, severance pay, etc.

Jordan's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

During the probationary period, the employer reserves the right to terminate the employee’s employment contract without the need for prior notice or compensation.

Upon completion of the probation period, if the employer decides to terminate the employee’s contract, they must provide a written notice at least 30 days in advance. This notice cannot be withdrawn unless both parties mutually agree.

However, certain situations specified by labor law, such as employee misconduct, may not require prior notice. Examples of such misconduct include absences exceeding 20 days without cause or prior notice.

In the event of termination, the employer has the option to exempt the employee from work during the notice period or require them to continue working, except for the final seven days. Regardless of the work arrangement during the notice period, the employer is obligated to pay the employee’s wages throughout this period.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Jordan

In the event of termination, the employee shall be entitled to receive severance pay equivalent to 50% of their total salary for each year of service. The calculation will be based on their most recent salary, with a minimum of two months’ salary as the guaranteed amount.

The specific amount of termination payment and severance pay will be in accordance with the prevailing Jordanian law applicable at the time of termination.

Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants

Post-termination limitations are allowed in Jordan, provided that they follow the following broad guidelines:

  • The restriction covenant does not go beyond what is necessary to protect the legitimate business interests of the corporation.
  • The restrictive covenant is reasonable in terms of territory and duration.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Jordan

Personal Income Tax in Jordan

Jordan applies taxes to all individuals, regardless of their residency status, for any income derived within the country from taxable activities, which include employment, business (as a sole proprietor or partner), rental income and directors’ fees.

Personal income tax rates are levied based on the annual taxable income and follow a progressive structure at the following rates:

Annual Taxable Income (JOD) Tax Rate %
Up to 5,000 5%
5,001 – 10,000 10%
10,001 – 15,000 15%
15,001 – 20,000 20%
20,001 – 1,000,000 25%
Over 1,000,000 30%

Individuals with an income surpassing JOD 200,000 are additionally liable to pay a 1% national contribution tax.

Social Security in Jordan

Jordan’s Social Security Corporation governs the country’s social security system. This regime mandates contributions from both employers and employees, which are calculated based on the employee’s monthly gross salary.

Employers must withhold and pay the following social insurance contributions for employees, calculated based on the employee’s monthly salary:

Type Employer Contribution Rate Employee Contribution Rate
Pension 11% 6.5%
Sickness and Maternity 0.75% 0
Worker Injury 2% 0
Unemployment 0.5% 1%
Total 14.25% 7.5%

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

Important Information for Jordanian Employees

Salary Payment

Salaries in Jordan must be paid no later than seven days after their due date.

Payslip

There is no statutory requirement for employers to provide employees with payslips. However, this practice is recommended.

Annual Leave

Each year of service grants an employee the right to 14 days of paid annual leave. However, if an employee has maintained continuous employment with the same firm for five years, they are eligible for an extended annual leave of 21 days. It is possible to carry forward any unused annual leave to the following year. However, the accumulated leave cannot exceed a maximum of two years.

If an employee’s contract is terminated before they can utilize their entitled annual leave, they are entitled to compensation for the remaining leave days.

It is important to note that any agreement in which an employee relinquishes their right to annual leave, whether wholly or partially, will be deemed invalid and unenforceable. The employee’s right to annual leave cannot be waived or compromised by such agreements.

Sick Leave

All employees are entitled to 14 days of sick leave with full pay based on a report from a physician accepted by the employer.

Maternity & Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

A female employee is entitled to a total of ten weeks of paid maternity leave, which includes time both before and after childbirth. The postpartum leave period shall not be less than six weeks.

Following the conclusion of the maternity leave, the working mother is granted a paid breastfeeding break for one year from the date of delivery. This break is limited to a maximum of one hour per day.

Employers with a workforce of ten or more employees must offer up to one year of unpaid leave to female employees for childcare purposes. Upon completion of this leave, the employee has the option to return to work. However, if the employee engaged in paid work elsewhere during her absence, she forfeits her right to reclaim her position.

Paternity Leave

A male employee is entitled to three days of paid leave following the birth of a child.

Other Leaves

Leave for pilgrimage

Each employee is eligible for up to 14 days of paid absence to perform the duty of pilgrimage. This may occur only once over the duration of the contract and only if the employee has worked for the employer for at least five years.

Study leave

On the employer’s recommendation, every employee is eligible for up to 14 days of paid leave to participate in a workers’ educational course approved by the Ministry of Labor or the General Workers Union.

Additionally, employees enrolled in an approved university, college or institute are entitled to four months of unpaid leave every year.

Spouse leave

Each working spouse is entitled to a maximum of two years of unpaid leave to accompany their spouse if he or she relocates for a new career outside Jordan.

Public Holidays

Public holidays are flexible in Jordan. The following holidays are generally observed nationwide:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • Independence Day (May 25)
  • Eid Al Adha/ Feast of Sacrifice (3 days)
  • Eid Al Fitr/ End of Ramadan (3 days)
  • Islamic Hijra New Year
  • Mawlid an-Nabi/ The Prophet’s Birthday
  • Christmas (December 25)

Benefits to the Employee in Jordan

Jordanian Statutory Benefits

Statutory benefits for employees in Jordan include social security insurance covering the following:

  • Work injury
  • Maternity leave
  • Unemployment
  • Pension

Employees in Jordan are also entitled to annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, and other special leaves prescribed by the labor law.

Other Benefits

In addition to the minimum legal entitlements, it is common for employers to offer enhanced health insurance, stock option plan, pension/savings fund, annual bonus, allowances and additional leave such as prolonged paternity leave.

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Jordan

General Information

Visa

The majority of non-Arab visitors will require a visa and a passport valid for at least six months to enter Jordan. Some travelers are required to obtain a visa at an embassy before departure. However, visitors from more than 100 nations can obtain a single-entry visa upon arrival.

The Jordan Pass, which includes the cost of the visa to enter Jordan, is available to tourists from over 130 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. The pass is available for purchase online before departure. After purchasing the Jordan Pass, an email containing a QR code will be sent to the visitor. The visitor then shows this to the immigration officers on arrival to receive his or her visa on the spot. Jordan Pass is a convenient option for non-Arab citizens planning on staying in Jordan for at least three nights.

Work Permit

In order to employ foreign workers, the employer must first obtain approval from the Ministry of Labor by demonstrating one of two things: either that workers with the required experience and qualifications for the role are not available in Jordan or that the number of such workers available is insufficient to meet the employer’s needs.

Employers must pay a fee for each foreigner they employ. The fee is discounted for Arabs. The law regarding work permits also stipulates that Arab professionals, technicians and workers must be given preference.

Once granted, a work permit is valid for one year and can be renewed.

Expats should also be aware that the country has a list of restricted occupations. These occupations -which include jobs in medicine, engineering, administration and sales – are restricted to Jordanians by law.

Public Holidays Recognized by Jordan in 2024

  Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Easter Sunday * March 31
3 Easter Monday * April 1
4 Eid al-Fitr Holiday April 10-12
5 Labour Day May 1
6 Independence Day May 25
7 Eid al-Adha Holiday June 15-19
8 Islamic New Year July 7
9 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday September 15
10 Christmas Day December 25

* Observed only by Christians.

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