The Legal State of Palestine’s Social Security Law Discussed

A legal perspective on the new Palestinian Social Security Law 2016 was presented on May 11, 2016 in a meeting held by Birzeit University’s Institute of Law in Gaza and in cooperation of Konrad Adenauer Stifung (KAS).A number of scholars, legal figures and rights activists discussed the controversial terms the new law, such as the retirement benefits, maternity leave, disability and payments to families of decreased workers.Mohsen Abu Ramadan, a scholar specialized in development affairs, spoke about the shortcomings of the new law, assuring that there is no urgent need to issue the Social Security No. 6. “ The Labor and Retirement Law of 2007 has proved its success to provide adequate protection for workers in the private sector. Having another law that is not fulfilling to labors needs will deepen the regression in the legal framework in Palestine.”“This law must be suspended until discussions are held on a national level, in order to address concerns that the law acts as a detriment to employees’ needs.”“The idea behind the law is to offer security to workers in case of disability and old age, neither of which is addressed”, Abu Ramadan said. “ Expected retirement income won’t be enough to enable retired employees and workers to live in dignity. The new law will only cover those who have an income that is eight times higher from the minimum wage for the Palestinian worker.”Abu Ramadan has also pointed to the most controversial issue in the new Palestinian Social Security Law concerning pregnancy and motherhood rights, which he described as “ discriminatory against women” .  He explained “ A woman registering in the system at less than six months from the expected childbirth, will not have the right to maternity leave.Abu Ramadan said that there is discrimination acts in the law  and it will not help achieve any social justice.  He compared the General Retirement Law with the new Security Law assuring that it doesn’t include.At the end of the meeting, the participants expressed their concerns concerning the new law, saying that it will not guarantee a good and dignified life for the workers as it should. They urged for a direct suspension for the law and called for another round of discussions to present the different views of labor and employees representatives, the private and the public sector, to reach a unified reformed law that takes into consideration the law’s drawbacks in order put it on the right track.