“Al-Hassan Industrial” does not have kindergartens at the workplace
Amman – An assessment by the International Labor Organization (ILO) has shown that there are no nurseries in the industrial city of Al-Hassan and that employers there are resorting to the legal option of providing monetary compensation.
An assessment prepared by the “Better Work” program carried out by an organization in Jordan and entitled “Access of Jordanian and Syrian Garment Workers to Child Care Facilities and Services in the Industrial City of Al-Hassan” says that, according to the program’s annual Report for 2022, “finding high-quality, reasonably priced babies has always been a dilemma for working parents, especially women, as mothers usually bear the brunt of finding paid or unpaid childcare.”
One of the main difficulties faced by working mothers and fathers is the lack of kindergartens that would provide quality care at an affordable price.
The results of the evaluation are based on quantitative and qualitative data through 524 surveys conducted on Jordanian and Syrian workers from five factories in the garment industry, with ten focus group discussions and seven approaches aimed at obtaining accurate and qualitative information with factory management representatives, a union representative and a representative on behalf of the Directorate for Women’s Work at the Jordanian Ministry of Labour, with a representative of the Nursery Department at the Ministry of Social Development.
Article 72 of the Jordanian Labor Law states: “An employer who employs several workers in one place and they have at least 15 children whose age is not older than five years, is obliged to prepare a suitable place for the care of one of them.” or more qualified nannies to care for them. In creating this place in one geographical area.”
Guidance has been issued explaining alternatives to daycare in the event that employers are unable to provide daycare at the same workplace, as these alternatives give employers greater flexibility by allowing them to contract with one or more daycare centers in multiple geographic areas, giving workers the right to choosing the appropriate kindergarten for their children among them, and the worker has the right to conclude a contract with the kindergarten of his choice, and then the employer must participate in covering part of the financial costs.
Workers whose salary is less than 300 dinars receive 50 dinars as assistance for adequate care of children, and this assistance must be granted to both male and female workers.
Law on social protection related to maternity insurance no. (93) of 2020 was also issued and entered into force. This system has allowed working mothers to return to their jobs by providing care for their children, either at home or in licensed institutional crèches, and also provides an opportunity for licensed nurseries to receive direct financial support to cover operational costs.
Moreover, in November 2021, a Collective Agreement was concluded between the trade union and the representatives of the employers, which enabled the employers, among other things, to reduce the value of the monetary support to 25 dinars, regardless of the basic salary that the worker receives. , up to a maximum of up to four children.
This support is provided to one of the parents who works in the company if both work in the same sector, and to women workers in general.
And the evaluation showed that “at the time of the preparation of this study, none of the factories from the sample of the study, to which the requirements for providing care for working children are applied, provided crèches within the workplace, because the owners of those factories resorted to the possibility of providing financial support in in the amount of 25 dinars for each child of a worker, based on the provisions of the collective agreement in this sense.
It is important to note that one of the factories signed a contract with nurseries in four different geographical locations, but the factory workers did not fully use this opportunity.
The report states: “Although the workers received financial support of 25 Jordanian dinars, this amount is still not enough to cover the costs of the kindergarten in Irbid province.” He added: “The price of a licensed crèche ranges from 50 to 130 dinars per child, on average 79.2 dinars, not including transportation costs.” Based on the average income of working families in this sector that were included in this study, this cost will eat up 18 percent of their monthly income if they have at least one child under the age of five.
He continued: “As a result, only 7 per cent of survey respondents reported using licensed childcare centres, while the vast majority (46 per cent) had unpaid arrangements with carers, whether family members or friends, while 40 per cent has paid arrangements with carers, whether they are family members or friends.
He added: “Although the assessment found that around half of the workers surveyed use unpaid care arrangements for their children, only 14 per cent of them prefer this option, while the most preferred options for providing the best childcare are licensed nurseries. Workers can choose this for themselves, depending on their area of residence. This option was the first, with a preference rate of 33.8 percent of those who took part in the survey, while 23.8 percent preferred paid care with a caregiver from a family member or friend. , as well as unpaid care, was chosen by 14.7 percent of respondents in the survey.
The report added: “It should be noted that preference for institutional nurseries in the workplace was given by workers who live near an industrial area, with an average distance of around 20 minutes from their place of residence. While workers living in remote areas or other provinces stated that they prefer to use licensed nurseries of their own choice due to the time required to travel between the two points and their desire to have their children close to where they live.
And he continued: “In conclusion, workers prefer kindergartens to be close to the place of residence, in case the employer wants to conclude a contract with them, according to the assessment.”
The evaluation highlighted the many challenges workers face in accessing care services for their children. Their ability to access the desired care services. Another challenge that the assessment focused on was the proximity of the location of the kindergarten to the workers’ accommodation.
The evaluation emphasized the importance of ensuring the existence of law enforcement mechanisms and instructions obliging employers to provide childcare services in an easily accessible manner, and to consider providing adequate support for the construction of crèches in areas where such services are not present in order to increase access to childcare services and to revise and simplify the Requirements for registration and operation of nurseries while ensuring the quality of the services provided.
He emphasized the importance of requiring compliance with the Labor Law and its related instructions, especially with regard to instructions for alternatives to institutional nurseries, and raising awareness among workers of their rights in relation to childcare services prescribed by the Jordanian Labor Law and related instructions.