DWRC discusses the legislation applicable to workers in local authorities and gaps in implementation
Ramallah 28/06/2018 – The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor, held a workshop on the implementation of labor legislation concerning employees in local authorities on June 24th, 2018, in Ramallah. The workshop was attended by representatives of trade unions & municipalities, municipal workers, representatives of the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Labor, and the Palestinian Pension Agency.
The workshop addressed the current situation regarding the implementation of labor legislation for employees in local authorities based on their employment status, in terms of labor rights related to work conditions, social security, the issues faced by workers and the unions representing them in obtaining all their rights, and forms of discrimination, if any.
The general director of oversight and guidance at the Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Raed Al Sharabati, explained the legal framework for various categories of employees in local authorities, among them permanent employees to whom the regulation for employees in local authorities is applied, and contract-based employees or day-wage employees, to whom the Palestinian labor law applies. In addition, Mr. Mohammed Abu Rahmeh, a representative of Palestinian Pension Agency, addressed the various pension systems in Palestine, and answered all inquiries on this subject, including those related to allowances and bonuses.
As employees in local authorities employed on a contract basis continue to face many violations of their rights, Mr. Hassan Sulemieh, the head of the establishing committee of the Southern Hebron Municipal Workers’ Federation, presented most prominent violations. These include violations of the right to allowances and vacations, trial period, overtime hours, experience certificates, acquisition of the status of permanent employee, as well as violations of rights regarding dismissal and termination of the employment contract.
In light of the many interrogations among the Palestinian public regarding the Social Security Law No. 19 of 2016, and their relevance for some employees in local authorities, who are not covered by any pension system, Adv. Samah Farakhneh from the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center, explained the provisions of the law and most important benefits provided to workers.
Mrs. Angham Seif, from the general administration for labor inspection at the Ministry of Labor, confirmed the Ministry’s role in inspecting and monitoring law implementation in local authorities. She said: “we have taken action against a number of local authorities through noting contraventions and issuing warnings for violations of workers’ rights”.
The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center had previously implemented a workshop on the same topic in Gaza, which was followed by a coordination meeting to discuss the workshops recommendations, most importantly the necessity for municipalities to pay employees’ pension contributions for previous periods and the need to implement an automated system for the deduction of these contributions related to pension rights. This meeting was attended by representatives of municipalities, the Palestinian Pension Agency, and the Water Authority for coastal municipalities.
These workshops were held as part of the project “Enhancing Rights and Freedoms of Palestinian Workers” implemented by the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center (DWRC), in cooperation with the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD) and COSPE, and funded by the European Union.