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“Case Law on Labor Law: article (41)”

Birzeit Legal Encounter

The Institute of Law in Birzeit University organized, with support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a legal encounter on “Case Law on Labor Law: article (41)”, on 28 September 2011 with contribution of His Honor, Judge Fawaz Attiyah, President of Jericho District Court, with the presence of a large number of representatives of the private sector institutions and the Palestinian Ministry of Labor in addition to a number of attorneys.

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The meeting was inaugurated by Mr. Fayez Bkeirat – Head of the Legislative Support Unit at IoL – who welcomed the audience and gave a brief presentation on the historic evolution of the Labor Law; he mentioned that Article (41) of the Palestinian Labor Law No (7) is an update of the Palestinian legal system since no similar texts existed in the Jordanian temporary labor law No (21) for 1960, formerly in effect in the West Bank. Henceforth, confusion arose in the enforcement of this article to grant the right to employers to terminate an employee’s work contract for technical reasons or entailing loss that requires cutting on staff. However, the Article guarantees such employee the right to notification and end of service benefits, provided that the Ministry is notified.

His Honor the Judge tackled the constitutional problems raised by the Labor Law enactment and stated a number of applications of the said Article; he gave an example related to a restructuring of the business, which may constitute a technical reason allowing an employer to apply Article (41). He also raised the question about considering a change in the nature of activity of a certain business as a technical reason justifying application of Article (41). He also raised the question regarding fusion of companies or installation of new production systems and whether they are justifications for the enforcement of this Article?

His Honor also explained that the Palestinian Justice System is endeavoring to interpret the text and devise objective criteria that ensure the good application thereof; he added that the Ministry of Labor plays a role through the obligation of notification of such termination of contract and can therefore ensure that objective conditions justify the application of Article (41).

The encounter was concluded with important feedback and questions from the floor, most of which confirmed a certain lacuna in the provisions of Article (41). Participants reiterated it is necessary to redress this situation through legislative amendment and explicit provision of a number of objective criteria that safeguard the rights of employees and employers alike upon enforcement. Until such a legislative redrafting takes place, participants called for a meeting between the Ministry of Labor and the Palestinian Justice System to activate their role in prescribing guarantees that ensure non-exploitation of the text in a manner that would undermine the rights of any of the parties to the contract.

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legal encounter, 29-09-2011 own picture


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