Iraq.. What does the Social Security and Retirement Law provide for workers?

BaghdadThe Iraqi parliament recently approved the Social Security and Retirement Law for workers in the private sector, in a step that the government considered an essential pillar within the promised economic reforms.

The Iraqi parliament stated on its official website that the law Aim to For a broader inclusion of workers in the three sectors (private, mixed and cooperative), and that every Iraqi will be covered by the Labor Law to ensure a decent life for workers and their families.

The parliament statement added that the legislation of the law “comes to emphasize the principles stipulated in the constitution, and in response to developments in the current stage and facing social crises, and in line with the International Labor Organization’s call to expand the base of social protection to include broader groups of segments of Iraqi society with social security for workers.”

The Social Security and Retirement Law for Workers came after more than 50 years of work under the old Law No. 39 of 1971 (Al-Jazeera)

What are the most important articles of the law?

Legal advisor Ali Al-Tamimi revealed that the new law consists of 110 articles, and provides for the formation of a special body for social security and a special fund for workers’ retirement linked to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

Al-Tamimi explained, in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, that the law included societal groups that were excluded from previous Law No. 39 of 1971, such as unorganized labor sectors such as taxi owners, women who work in sewing, mobile trade owners and others, and it stipulated that these benefit from the condition of paying the retirement benefits that were set. 7% of what a worker earns in the private sector. Provided that the employer pays 8%.

For his part, the spokesman for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Najm Al-Aqabi, explained that the approval of the law came in response to the need of the Iraqi market after the great changes that the Iraqi economy witnessed since the legislation of the old law in 1971.

Residents shop at a wholesale market ahead of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Baghdad
The new law will allow state employees to transfer all their pension rights to the private sector and vice versa (Reuters)

What are the main advantages?

In a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Aqabi revealed that the law includes many privileges, the most important of which is easing pressure on the government sector and supporting the private sector directly, as opportunities will be equal between rights and duties, and indicated that the law allowed any Iraqi to enter into the social security umbrella, with fairness to women. Inclusion of retired workers with health insurance.

According to Al-Aqabi, the law detailed many other points, including reducing the percentage of physical disability for workers from 35% in the 1971 law to 30%, indicating that the privileges of the new law are almost greater than the privileges of the retirement law for public sector employees.

For his part, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, the financial advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister, confirmed a permit The Iraqi News Agency, that the new law will allow state employees to transfer all their pension rights to the private sector and vice versa.

Among the advantages included in the law are what was indicated by the legal advisor Ali Al-Tamimi regarding determining the retirement of registered workers after 15 years of service, provided that the age of the retiree is 60 years for men and 58 years for women, indicating that the law provides for the possibility of purchasing 5 years of service from the state in the event The number of years of service of the worker was 10 years, provided that the worker paid the pension dues to the Workers’ Pension Fund for these five years.

What are the negatives?

The law may not be ideal, according to what the economist Mohammed Al-Hamdani sees, who mentioned some loopholes, and said, “Although the law stipulated obligating private sector officials and factories to register workers, the major problem lies in the refusal of many of these to comply with that, which requires a lot of effort.” government to educate the private sector and oblige its officials to guarantee the rights of their workers.”

In his interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Hamdani indicated that knowledge of the exact details of the mechanism for implementing the new law is still vague, especially since the law has not yet been published in the Official Gazette, and instructions for its implementation have not yet been issued.

In response, a spokesman for the Ministry of Labor indicates that the implementation of the law will be in two stages, and that private sector companies will be subject to legal procedures in the event that they do not disclose the number of workers, with the availability of an electronic system for workers to pay what they owe to the Workers’ Pension Fund.

On the other hand, economist Nabil Jabbar Al-Ali believes that the new law constitutes an important rule for the private sector, because it regulates the work of the private sector and the mechanism for workers’ retirement. Employers in the private sector to register workers.

Regarding this aspect, Al-Ali believes that enticing inclusion within the law is better than intimidation, especially since the size of the informal market is wide, and that many private employers work with minimum wages, with his indication that the new law will deduct approximately two salaries from workers’ wages. annually, at a time when the government employee does not pay more than one salary.

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