Minister pitches procedures to regulate Syrian refugee workers

File - Economy Minister Alain Hakim speaks during a ceremony in Baabda, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Economy and Trade Minister Alain Hakim has proposed procedures for regulating the work of Syrians in Lebanon aimed at curbing competition caused by the massive influx of refugees, the National News Agency said Wednesday.

The proposal mainly comprised a legal mechanism under which social security fees would be imposed on the employment of Syrian workers, though they would not be entitled to profit from any social benefits.

Lebanese firms and employers are urged to refrain from recruiting lower-paid, unskilled Syrian workers at the expense of competent Lebanese counterparts, the proposal said.

It also demanded harsh penalties on noncompliant employers.

The proposal underscored the importance of reinforcing regulations and demanded authorities and municipalities be involved in intercepting and reporting violations.

Hakim has warned that as many as 324,000 Lebanese will be without jobs by the end of 2014 if the state does not reduce the competition.

Even before the Syrian crisis erupted the majority of Syrians working in Lebanon had no official status and earned lower wages doing jobs shunned by most Lebanese.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 10, 2014, on page 5.




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