By / Attorney Mohammed Kadhim Al-Otaibi
The applicable Iraqi Labor Law No. 37 of 2015 addressed the situation of partial or total suspension of work in workplaces wherein the national or foreign worker works in the current exceptional circumstances (force majeure), whereas the parties to the labor contract have imposed some mutual obligations if such circumstances have occurred.
Also, Whereas, The current Iraqi government considered the health crisis that struck the country since the sixteenth of March of the current year is one of the _ Force Majeure that must be observed in all transactions, according to Executive order No. 55 of 2020 issued by the crisis cell, and according to the above data, currently, the main commitment that falls on the employer is to pay the worker wages for the suspension period up to thirty days.
The Iraqi Labor Law permitted the employer, after the (force majeure) removal, to assign the worker to do additional unpaid work as compensation for such suspension period, provided that the unpaid overtime does not exceed two hours per day and thirty days per year. But what if the force majeure lasted for more than thirty days??
In such case, the employer is entitled to stop paying the worker’s wages while retaining the validity of the labor contract without terminating it or taking force majeure as a reason to terminate the labor contract, as the Iraqi labor law stipulated that the force majeure is one of the reasons for the termination of the labor contract.