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Syrian Arab Republic
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2013    

References
  • Labour Law [LL], No. 17/2010 of 29 March 2010
    Date: 12 Apr 2010 (view in NATLEX »)
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; agricultural workers; domestic workers; employer's family members
Remarks:
  • Art. 5 LL:
    "Save as otherwise provided under the present Law:
    a- The provisions of this Law shall not apply to:
    1- Workers subject to the Civil Servants Basic Law no 50/2004 and amendments thereof.
    2- Workers subject to the Agricultural Relations Law.
    3- Family members of the employers actually supported by the employer.
    4- Domestic servants and similar categories.
    5- Workers in charity associations and organizations.
    6- Casual workers.
    7- Part-time workers whose hours of work do not exceed two hours per day."

Types of employment contracts - 2013    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 3 month(s)

Remarks:
  • Art. 49 LL.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
    Remarks:
    • Art. 50 and 54 LL
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • Art. 50 LL.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • Art. 54 LL.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 5 year(s)
    Remarks:
    • Art. 54 LL: "Fixed-term employment contracts shall automatically lapse at expiry date thereof. However, they may be extended by express mutual agreement for a specified term or additional terms. Whenever the initial and extended terms of the contract exceed five years, the employment contract shall become a contract with an unspecified term, provided that aggregate interruptions during such period do not exceed four months".

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
Remarks:
  • According to art. 56 LL, either party may terminate the unspecified-term contract provided they send the other party prior written notice of termination.
    However, this does not result in a total freedom of the employer to terminate the contract.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • Article 67(a) LL.


Workers enjoying special protection: pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. 57(a) LL provides that "no notice of termination shall be served upon female workers while on maternity leave, or upon workers while on leave. The notice period shall be calculated starting the day after the end of the leave or maternity leave."
    See also article 122 LL: No employer may dismiss a female worker or terminate her contract while on maternity leave.


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2013    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Art. 56 (a) LL: Either the employer or the worker may terminate the unspecified-term contract provided they send the other party written notice prior to termination.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • Art. 56 a) 1) LL: Notice shall be sent two months prior to termination.
    In the event of termination of a disabled worker, the notice period shall be doubled (art. 140 LL).
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 2 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • - Art. 56(b) LL: The party terminating the employment contract without notice or before the completion of the notice period shall pay the other party compensation equal to the wage of the worker for the whole or remaining duration of the notice period, unless the worker is dispensed from the notice period.
      - Art. 60 LL: Employers may dispense workers from working during the notice period and consider their service uninterrupted until the end of the notice period, with all accruing effects, in particular the amount of wages for the notice period.

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2013    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    The LL does not define collective dismissal but prescribed procedural requirements to be observed in the event of "total or partial shutdown or downsizing of firms".

    Remarks:
    • Articles 224-229 LL.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Under the LL, in order to shutdown or downsize the undertaking, the employer shall obtain an authorization from the Ministry. Workers' representatives play a role in the process through their participation in the committee in charge of examining the employer's request. This Committee established by ministerial decision shall comprise an equal number of workers' organizations and employers' organizations representatives. This Committee submits a motivated proposal to the Ministry which shall then issue a final decision on the employer's request (see art. 225 (a), (b) LL).
      As such, there is no formal consultation process with the workers' representatives on the decision to close down or downsize the firm.
      However, art. 227 LL provides that if a final decision is issued in favour of the employer's request and no objective criteria are prescribed in the collective labour agreement or the internal regulations for selecting the workers who shall be dismissed, the employer shall undertake consultation on the selection criteria with the representative of the trade union concerned.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 225 LL:
      If an employer intends to shutdown or downsize the undertaking, he shall submit a request to do so to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour. The Minister decides on the request after having examined the proposal of the bipartite Committee.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 225 (a), (b) LL: workers' representatives participate in the Committee in charge of submitting a proposal on the employer's request to the Ministry, together with the employer's representatives.
      In addition, art. 227 LL provides that if a final decision is issued in favour of the employer's request and no objective criteria are prescribed in the collective labour agreement or the internal regulations for selecting the workers who shall be dismissed, the employer shall undertake consultation on the selection criteria with the representative of the trade union concerned.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 225 (e) and (f) LL: After having examined the proposal of the Committee, the Minister shall decide about the total or partial shutdown within fifteen days from receiving the committee's proposal. If, after the lapse of forty-five days no decision is made in connection with the request, the employer may shutdown or downsize the firm.

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 227 LL: If a final decision is issued in favour of the employer's request, and no objective criteria are prescribed in the collective labour agreement or the internal regulations for selecting the workers who shall be dismissed, the employer shall consult the competent directorate and the representative of the trade union concerned to make the appropriate decision. Inter alia, seniority, family responsibilities, age, capacities and professional skills of workers may be considered.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): No

    Priority rules for re-employment: No

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2013    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • Termination by notice does not automatically entail severance pay.

      Under the LL, workers are entitled to severance pay only when the contract terminates in the following instances (art. 62 LL):
      1- Whenever both parties agree in writing to terminate the contract.
      2- Whenever workers reach the age of 60, save in case of a fixed-term contract exceeding such date. In this case, the contract shall expire on expiry date thereof. In any case, Social Security Law shall be observed in respect of pension eligibility age and the right of workers to continue working until completion of the qualifying service or until the age of 65, whereupon the contract shall automatically expire.
      3- Upon the death of the worker.
      4- In the event of total disability, for any reason whatsoever.
      5- Whenever the worker contracts a disease requiring work interruption for no less than one hundred and eighty consecutive days, or intermittent periods exceeding, in total, two hundred days per one single contractual year.
      6- In case of force majeure.

      In those instances, employers shall pay workers who are not covered by the Social Security Law, a severance pay at the rate of one month' wages for each year of service. Workers shall further be entitled to receive severance pay for any fraction of a year on a pro rata basis. (art. 63 (a) LL).
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 week(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 week(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 10 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 20 month(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • No general right to redundancy payment.
      However, in the event of partial shutdown of the firm (see above under "collective dismissals"), in specific circumstances as provided in art. 228, workers may be entitled to severance pay.
      Article 228 LL: "Employers may, after issuance of the decision ordering partial shutdown of the firm, amend the terms of individual employment contracts. In particular, they may assign workers to jobs that substantially differ from their initial work, and decrease workers' wage to no less than the minimum wage prescribed for their occupation. In this case, workers may either agree to such measure or request termination of their employment contract, notwithstanding the statutory notice period. In this case, workers shall be entitled to compensation at the rate of one month for each year of service, provided such compensation does not exceed six months wages."
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 6 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 6 month(s)

    Notes / Remarks
    No general statutory right to severance pay in the of termination of employment with notice by the employer.
    Severance pay is only due in limited instances listed in the LL.

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2013    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    1) Dismissal based on prohibited reasons:
    If the court deems that reinstatement is impossible, unpractical or inappropriate, it shall order compensation equal to 2 months' wages for each year in service, provided that the total amount does not exceed 200 times the minimum wage.

    2) Unfair disciplinary dismissal:
    When the employer fails to prove that the worker committed any of the acts entailing summary dismissal referred to in art. 64, the worker is entitled to compensation equal to 2 months' wages for each year of service, provided that the total amount does not exceed 150 times the minimum wage.

    Remarks:
    • - Dismissal based on prohibited reasons: see art. 67
      - Unfair summary dismissal: see art. 65 LL

      See also art 208(d) which provides that: If the worker brings a dismissal dispute to court, the court shall, during litigation, order the employer to pay the worker 50% of his/her monthly wage, provided that such payment does not exceed the minimum wage payable for his occupation and does not exceed one year.

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 209 LL: the employer shall be ordered to pay compensation to the worker unless he or she accepts to reinstate the worker.

      However, under art. 67 LL, if the unfair dismissal was based on prohibited grounds (i.e trade union activities, lodging a complaint against the employer, discriminatory grounds...), the court shall order the reinstatement of the worker in addition to his/her full wages for the entire interruption period.
      If the court deems that reinstatement is impossible, unpractical or inappropriate because the employer refuses to reinstate the worker or the worker refuses to resume work, it shall order compensation in lieu of reinstatement except if the dismissal was connected to the worker's trade union activities or electoral activities.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

    Remarks:
    • No preliminary mandatory conciliation.
      However, under art. 208 LL, in the event of a dismissal dispute, the worker or the trade union concerned may, upon request of the worker, solicit mediation by the Directorate of Social Affairs and Labour, within ten days of being notified the dismissal or dismissal notice.
      The directorate acts as a mediator between the employer and the worker, and attempts to settle the dispute within no later than one month. If mediation fails, the worker is entitled to go to court.

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Remarks:
    • Article 205 LL: A primary civil court shall be created in each governorate by decision of the Minister of Justice and shall consist of:
      1) A primary magistrate appointed by the Minister of Justice (chairman)
      2) A representative of the trade union association, appointed by the executive bureau of the GFTU (member).
      3) A representative of employers, appointed by the Federation of Chambers of Industry, Commerce, Tourism or Cooperatives (as the case may be) to examine labour disputes between workers and employers (member).

    Existing arbitration: Yes

    Notes / Remarks
    In June 2013, the minimum wage in Syria is around SYP 9765 (around 152 USD) [Source: Doing Business - World Bank]

    Source of additional information - 2013    

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    Links

    ILO termination of employment legislation digest - Syrian Arab Republic (last updated in 2000) »
    This country profile reflects the provisions of the former Labour Law.