Nepal-Jordan sign labour agreement

Oct 19, 2017-Nepal has signed a labour agreement with Jordan, an Arabian country, which hosts nearly 5,000 Nepali migrant workers. 
The Nepali Minister for Labour and Employment (MoLE) Farmullah Mansoor and his Jordanian counterpart Ali Ghezawi signed the agreement at the Labour Ministry of Jordan on Wednesday. Bhuwan Prasad Acharya, MoLE spokesperson, said the agreement will ensure rights and security of Nepali migrant workers working in Jordan. 
“This agreement has two separate templates for general and domestic workers that mentions various provisions regarding rights, facilities, protection of Nepali migrant workers and hiring process,” said Acharya. 
As per the agreement, the minimum salary of the general workers and domestic workers will be $200 and $300 respectively. The Arabian nation has a high demand for Nepali women migrant workers in its garment sector. With this new agreement, Nepali women will also get jobs in domestic sector. 
The agreement also has the provision that offers 14-day annual leave and 14-day sick leave for migrant workers. The passports of Nepali migrant workers will be with them throughout their stay in the country, which is one of the major highlights of the agreement. 
“We have often heard of employers seizing the passports of migrant workers. This will not happen from now onwards. As per the contract, the passports will be with the migrant workers even during their contract period,” said Acharya. “In the past, there were many incidents where employers wouldn’t allow workers to return home even after their contract period was over. Now the workers can return home if they don’t want to extend their contract.”
The employers will have to buy air tickets for the workers at the end of the two-year contract period, according to the agreement.  The daily work hours of the workers have also been fixed to eight hours. 
Aspiring Nepali migrant workers will not have to pay any money to get work visas in Jordan. According to the labour agreement, the employers will be responsible for all the expenses of the migrant workers that include air fare, insurance and other expenses. 
“Besides providing free visas and free tickets, the employers will be also be responsible for medical expenses and insurance of $10,000,” said Acharya. 
Published: 19 October 2017/ The Kathmandu Post

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