Zero recruitment fee policy for (migrant) workers in Jordan
- Responsible Organisations: LO in collaboration with garment employers and the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile Garment and Clothing Industries (JTGCU) (Trade Union); Jordanian Ministry of Labour (Government)
- ILO Regions: Arab States
- Country(ies): Jordan
- Thematic areas: Fair recruitment
- MLFLM: 13.
- Sectors: Textile, clothing, leather and footwear
In light of the ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment (GPOG), and following a national tripartite consultation, stakeholders from Jordan’s garment sector adopted a “zero-fee policy” aimed at ensuring that workers do not pay recruitment fees pre, during and post-employment. The apparel exports’ industry employs over 70,000 workers, with over 53,000 migrant workers and 17,000 Jordanians (2019 data). The zero-fee policy, effective from January 2019, was incorporated in Better Work Jordan’s (BWJ) compliance monitoring and reporting in such a way that factories would be reported as non-compliant when the payment of recruitment fees is known to occur.
Proof of impact/progress
According to Better Work Jordan (BWJ) compliance reports, the majority of Jordan garment factories have successfully committed to implementing the zero recruitment fee policy. The BWJ report of 2020 (based on data collected in 2019) indicates that 75 per cent of factories (based on a sample of 81 factories) were compliant with regard to workers not paying recruitment fees. The majority of factories (85 per cent) were found to have taken sufficient steps to ensure that workers do not pay recruitment fees.
While this data indicates progress, there is still scope for improvement: BWJ assessments in factories report that, where fees continue to be paid, in particular by workers from India and Nepal, the amount paid can reach 1,000 USD.
Other promising features
Potential for replication or extension
In Jordan, BWJ is using the same principle to assess three other manufacturing sub-sectors (i.e. chemical, engineering and plastic) and cite non-compliance if workers paid recruitment fees. The practice of applying the “zero recruitment fee policy” to a sector through tripartite agreement is worth exploring in other sectors/ countries.
Jordan’s labour law stipulates that it is the employers’ responsibility to renew the work permits of migrant workers, but it does not include any provision on non-charging of recruitment fees to workers. However, the Instructions of Workers in the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs) prohibit charging any amount to workers, but exclude any fees determined by the country of origin of the migrant worker.
In addition, the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in the garment sector, which is currently under implementation, includes for the first time a provision (in Article 9b) prohibiting the charging of recruitment fees to workers.