The civil service in Jordan has been revised a number of times in an effort to make the system more modern, transparent and fair. The importance of creating a sustainable and fair civil service for the country is largely due to the fact that is it the primary employer in Jordan; approximately 60% of the total workforce in Jordan is employed in the public sector. The two ministries that employ the majority of the civil service work force are Health and Education, which accounts for 87% of the total civil service labour force.
Due to the vast civil service workforce, the employee compensation budget accounted for a staggering 70% of the total Jordanian government budget. New civil service legislation has been implemented which provides a code of ethics for all public sector employees. It also stipulates the selection system for senior managerial civil servants, and methods for coping with disciplinary procedures and promotion of personnel.
Recruitment of civil servants in Jordan
The Jordanian civil service promotes equal opportunities of employment, and the recruitment of civil servants is based on an open, non-discriminatory, and transparent system. This means that all Jordanian citizens have the right to be appointed as civil servants of public offices (article 22 or the Constitution) provided certain conditions are met.
Selection and recruitment of individuals to civil service posts is based upon the skills, qualifications and merit of each individual applicant. However, there is also a quota system whereby individuals who fit one of the following 4 categories will be considered for civil servant positions:
1) Children of martyrs
2) Poor families receiving national aid
3) Disabled persons who are not restricted from performing a particular civil servant job
4) Unemployed families, provided the applicant holds a degree and there are 4 unemployed persons in the family
JIPA – Jordanian Institute of Public Administration provides the training and education programs for civil servants in Jordan. There are a broad range of training courses available to public service workers, from tailored programs to meet departmental training objectives, to top and middle management courses for civil servants seeking promotion within their department.
Provided civil servants are performing well at work, and they complete the necessary training programs, then they will be considered for promotion within their area of expertise. Usually, promotion opportunities are awarded to civil servants who can effectively demonstrate efficiency in completing their tasks, participation in training courses, seniority/leadership skills and educational background. The main requirement with regards to gaining a promotion as a civil servant is the number of years service the individual must do in order to qualify for promotion. In Jordan, the typical work experience requirement is 3 years.