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Workers in cleaning services companies: victims of ongoing disregard for labor standards


Today, the Jordanian Labor Watch, affiliated to the Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies, released a report on the working conditions of employees in companies that provide cleaning services, especially in public and private hospitals.

The report – issued by the Jordanian Labor Watch in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation – points out that the majority of workers in this sector are exposed to many violations of labor standards.

The report shows that the wages of the majority of workers in these cleaning companies do not exceed 220 dinars per month, while the working hours are extremely long, reaching up to 16 hours a day.

The report points out that cleaning companies that offer services in hospitals do not provide employees with annual and sick leave, and vacation on public holidays declared by the government. Workers have only one day off per week, which is usually on Friday but in some cases they are forced to switch with another week-day. In addition, many companies deduct the paid leaves from the salaries and sometimes a two-day salary is deducted for each day off.

An important issue discussed in the report is that large numbers of workers in the cleaning companies are denied social security. Usually employers register some of their employees in the social security system for fear of legal accountability, but in most cases workers are not provided with the required social protection.

Furthermore, large numbers of workers in this sector are exposed to high risks due to poor health and safety conditions in their workplaces, although most of them work in hazardous occupations, dealing with different types of patients and collecting general and medical waste of various kinds.

Report’s recommendations include the need to implement a strict supervision on these companies and their level of compliance with the different labor standards, including minimum wages.

The report also underlines the importance of reinforcing the role of trade unions in this regard by allowing all workers in this sector to freely form their unions, in order to put pressure on the respect of labor standards in the workplace.

Finally, the report stresses the need to provide cleaning companies’ workers with awareness sessions on labor rights, as well as with awareness on how to deal with medical and other waste.

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