It's no secret that Jordan is a stunning country full of both natural wonders and cultural treasures. Jordan is a popular tourist destination due to its abundance of historical sites, such as the ancient city of Petra, as well as its natural attractions, such as the Dead Sea. However, there is more to this unique country than meets the eye.
Jordan's educated and professional workforce allows it to support other sectors beyond tourism, including the information technology industry, renewable energy, and the pharmaceutical business. The political and economic climate is secure, and the government is making efforts to draw in foreign investment and spur economic expansion.
If your company wants to expand into the Middle East or recruit highly skilled workers, Jordan is an excellent option. Jordan is a country rich in potential thanks to its talented workforce, thriving economy and central location. In this article, learn everything you need to know about the country of Jordan, plus how to hire and pay your Jordanian employees with confidence.
Everything You Need to Know About Jordan
Jordan, a Middle Eastern country, is bounded by Syria and Iraq to the north, Saudi Arabia to the east and southeast, and Israel and Palestine to the west. Wadi Rum's desert scenery and Petra's ancient city are just two examples of Jordan's magnificent natural beauty, complementing the country's illustrious cultural history.
Many different peoples live in Jordan; while Arabs make up the majority, there are also sizable populations of Circassians, Chechens, and Bedouins. Arabic is spoken throughout, and the majority of the population is Muslim. However, there are also sizable Christian and Druze communities that call Jordan their home.
Amman, the capital of Jordan
Amman is the largest city in Jordan and the country's capital. It is found in the country's centre north. It's a busy, up-to-date metropolis with a deep cultural legacy dating back to antiquity. The city of Amman is home to more than 4 million people and is famous for its harmonious coexistence of modern skyscrapers and ancient monuments from all eras.
Amman's corporate and financial sectors and technological sectors have flourished in recent years, contributing to the city's rapid economic expansion and development. Several colleges and universities give this city a reputation as one of the region's most liberal and progressive hubs.
Jordan’s unique government
Unlike most countries in the Middle East, Jordan is a constitutional monarchy and joins Bahrain as the only two countries in the region to practice this style of government. This form of government is the same in countries like the United Kingdom or Japan, where the King of Jordan is the head of state, while the Prime Minister is responsible for running the government.
The country's political system is generally stable and is widely regarded as one of the region's most progressive and liberal nations.
The Jordanian economy and currency
Tourism, agriculture, and the information technology industries have all flourished in recent years, contributing to Jordan's economic growth. The country is rich in natural resources, including phosphates, potash, and petroleum, which are important contributors to the economy, with the Jordanian Dinar (JOD) as its official currency. However, there are still obstacles the country must overcome, such as a large youth unemployment rate and a dependent on energy imports.
Jordan's government has made strides to make the country more economically competitive and attract foreign investment, especially in IT, renewable energy, and tourism. In addition to being a signatory to various free trade agreements with other nations, the country is a member of the World Commerce Organization (WTO) to facilitate international trade and investment.
In spite of this, Jordan is nevertheless one of the region's most prosperous nations, with a well-deserved reputation for warm hospitality and a friendly, open society. Jordan has a good chance of flourishing and expanding in the years ahead. The country's advantageous position, plentiful natural resources, and educated labour force make it a desirable place to set up shop.
All About Working in Jordan
Culture in the workplace in Jordan reflects the country's rich history and hopes for the future, combining traditional and modern ideals. On one hand, Jordan is known for its high regard for established hierarchies and customs. Conversely, Jordan is also home to a growing number of cutting-edge businesses, where a more adaptable and team-oriented work culture is gradually replacing the traditional hierarchical structure. Many of these businesses are open to new ideas and methods of doing business, and they place a premium on teamwork, innovation, and communication.
Overall, companies hiring from or within Jordan can count on a highly motivated and engaged workforce that is focused on reaching its objectives. But before you make any hires from Jordan, it’s important to understand the labour laws that structure this incredible Middle Eastern country. This section will take you through each aspect of employment in Jordan.
Employment in Jordan is normally defined by a written contract that specifies the position's duties, hours, and compensation. Whether the conditions of your employment agreement are written down or discussed verbally, it's crucial that you know what to expect before starting a new job.
As an employer, you are required by law to uphold the protections for workers' rights to organise and bargain collectively for better working conditions and wages, as outlined in Chapter 2 of the country's constitution. The Labor Law allows the parties to mutually agree on a probationary period, although it cannot be more than three months (ninety days), and termination notices must be provided in writing at least one month in advance.
Contracts of employment in the Kingdom of Jordan must be drafted in Arabic and signed in two copies, one for each party. There should be no gaps in the details, so make sure to cover everything from pay and benefits to notice requirements and hours worked. The Jordanian dinar must always be used when referring to monetary values in offer letters and contracts.
Statutory working days and hours
Working hours in Jordan are generally between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Thursday, with most other Middle Eastern countries following a similar schedule. Though certain businesses may have alternative schedules, this is often how the majority of offices function. When it comes to the formal weekend days of Friday and Saturday, most companies in Jordan are closed.
If an employee is required to work more than eight hours per day or more than 48 hours per week (not counting overtime), they have a legal right to refuse further employment. Whenever this threshold is passed, the additional time worked must be compensated for as overtime.
It is permissible to split up the maximum weekly working hours and rest breaks so that the daily total, including overtime, does not exceed 11 hours.
Regulations on overtime
If employees work more than 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week, they should be paid overtime for their efforts. However, the employer must get the employee's permission to schedule overtime labour.
According to Jordanian labour laws, employees are entitled to a minimum of 125% of their normal wage when working overtime during regular working days. When an employee is required to work on his weekly day off or on public holidays, he is entitled to at least 150% of his regular pay.
There are two additional situations where employees will still be entitled to receiving overtime pay:
Taking inventory of the business, creating a balance sheet, and closing the books is considered “overtime” only if they take place within a 30-day window and at a maximum of 10 hours a day.
Regardless of the time spent, preventing the loss of goods or other materials that may be at risk due to technical work or during the receiving, delivering, or transferring of those materials is considered overtime when an employee works beyond 8 hours a day.
However, employees whose responsibilities include general supervision or management at any location, who work outside the business in some situations, or whose work nature demands travel inside Jordan or worldwide are exempt from these limitations.
In Jordan, there are several mandatory benefits that employers are required to provide to their employees. Aside from leave, these benefits include:
1. Social security
When hiring employees, businesses must register them with the Social Security Administration and pay into the system so that their workers can get retirement, disability, and death benefits.
2. End-of-service benefits
A year of service qualifies an employee for an end-of-service reward, which is paid out as a percentage of the employee's final wage.
Every employee is guaranteed a minimum of 14 days of paid vacation for every year worked. When an employee has been with their company for five years, that number rises to 21 days. However, companies are free to provide a larger amount of leave if they so choose.
When calculating an employee's yearly leave, any days that fall on public holidays, religious feasts, or weekly rest days must be included. Even if the employee hasn't been with the company for a full year, he or she is still entitled to paid time off for the portion of the year worked.
Maternity and paternity leave
Women in Jordan have the legal right to take off work for 10 weeks to care for their newborn, which should include some time for rest before and after the birth. Six weeks of postpartum leave is required to be taken, and returning to work before that time is up is not allowed.
Previously, fathers of newborns had no legal right to paternity leave in Jordan. However, recent amendments to Jordanian labour laws have provided such entitlements to male employees. Since 2020, a newborn child's father has been entitled to three days of paternity leave.
Within the first year after giving birth, all working mothers are entitled to unpaid leave of up to one hour per day for the express purpose of nursing their newborn children, after the end of their maternity leave but before the end of their first year of employment. If there are 15 or more children under the age of five between female employees, the employer is required to provide a safe and acceptable environment under the care of a qualified nanny for the children.
Employees are eligible for up to 14 days of paid sick time per year, provided they have a report from a doctor who has been pre-approved by the company. If the employee is hospitalised, the sick leave can be prolonged for an additional 14 days at full pay. If the employee is not hospitalised but presents a report from a medical commission recognised by the establishment, the sick leave can be extended for an additional seven days at half pay.
Public holidays in Jordan often occur throughout the year and are either national, religious or commemorative in nature. Most organisations and government buildings are closed on these days. Depending on the specifics of the work agreement, some holidays may be paid while others are not.
Since many of the public holidays celebrated in Jordan are religious and, thus, follow the Islamic lunar calendar, some of these dates change every year. Different regions in Jordan also have their own public holidays, with certain regions celebrating additional holidays.
Here are the eight national holidays celebrated in Jordan:
New Year’s Day (Jan 1)
Eid al-Fitr — End of Ramadan
Labour Day (May 1)
Independence Day (May 25)
Eid al-Adha — Beginning of Hajj
Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah — Islamic New Year
Mawlid an-Nabi — Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
Christmas Day (Dec 25)
Payroll, salaries and taxes
Depending on your personal situation, your salary in Jordan may be subject to income tax and social security contributions and be paid out on a monthly basis. Depending on the employee's pay and other circumstances, the actual amount of taxes and contributions may vary. The government requires employers to withhold and remit certain taxes and contributions from their employees' paychecks.
The government of Jordan established a statutory minimum salary of 260 Jordanian dinars (JOD) per month, which is equivalent to around 366 United States dollars, on January 1, 2021. It's vital to remember that Jordan taxes all income earned in the country or from Jordan, no matter who earns it or where the money comes from.
The general rate of VAT in Jordan is 16%; the rate of social security is 21.75%; the rate of corporate income tax is 20%; and the rate of personal income tax (PIT), applied in progressive brackets, is 30%. Here is the breakdown of the PIT rates:
First JOD 5,000 — 5%
Second JOD 5,000 — 10%
Third JOD 5,000 — 15%
Fourth JOD 5,000 — 20%
Over JOD 20,000 and up to JOD 1,000,000 — 25%
Beyond JOD 1,000,001 — 30%
How to Hire Employees in Jordan
In Jordan, corporations either need to establish a physically present legal organisation or partner with an experienced employment solution provider in order to legally hire Jordanian nationals. It can be difficult to implement streamlined procedures for managing payroll, benefits, taxes and onboarding new hires in a country like Jordan without access to local experts.
The Bottom Line
Overall, businesses interested in expanding into the Middle East or tapping into the region's competent and motivated population may find recruiting workers from Jordan to be a wise and strategic move. Jordan is a centre for innovation and talent thanks to the country's political and economic stability, highly educated and competent workforce, and burgeoning start-up ecosystem.
Because of its dedication to education and training and its blend of traditional and modern values, Jordan is a great place for businesses to target if they need hardworking, educated workers. Jordan is worth considering if you are searching for a place to establish a foothold, recruit top-tier employees, or enter untapped markets.