Wages and working time are important issues in the Jordanian garment sector. Under current Jordanian labour law, there is no legal limit on overtime work as long as workers consent to the extra hours. Stakeholders in the garment sector will re-negotiate a sector-wide Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in the fall of 2022, and negotiators from worker and employer representatives may discuss including a maximum limit on overtime. Without a legal limit on overtime, factories can assign substantial overtime work, especially during peak seasons. As a baseline, workers are expected to work 8 hours a day, 6 days a week (48 hours per week). Overtime work of two hours per day is the norm for migrant workers across the sector (average of 60 hours per week), but during high production times factories will work more overtime and/or work on Fridays. Thirty-eight per cent of weekly hours recorded by migrant workers were more than 60 hours per week, and nine per cent were more than 72 hours per week. Migrant workers’ pay is closely tied to the number of overtime hours that they work, and the wage system highly incentivizes overtime work for migrant workers. Working hours, especially for migrant workers, dipped during the early part of the pandemic. This had a real and measurable impact on take-home pay which dropped in tandem.
In July 2022, key buyers sourcing from Jordan (adidas, New Balance, Nike, PVH, Target and Under Armour) and the Fair Labour Association sent a letter suggesting that stakeholders consider a cap on weekly working hours, among other topics. They suggested capping hours at 60 hours per week with an exception for maximum work hours up to 72 hours per week which should not exceed three weeks within any 12-week period. The information in this report aims to help stakeholders make informed decisions by proving an overview of the current legal and practical context in Jordan, the historical range of hours worked, and workers’ concerns about pay and working time.
Editor’s Note: Since the final drafting of this report, employer and worker representatives signed the 2022 sectoral Collective Bargaining Agreement. This agreement includes a cap on overtime hours of work of 4 hours per day, which translates to no more than 72 hours per week.