Concluding Observation Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 13
Full recommendation:
The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to extend the application of its labour
law to all workers, including to those working in places with fewer than five workers and those
working in export processing zones.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1

Iran’s labor law is broadly comprised of: The Labour Law2 , the Law on Islamic Labour
Councils3, and the Social Security Act4, which, afford basic protections to qualifying workers
without distinction on the basis of the protected characteristic that are identified by the
Constitution (which notably omits religion). Protections include minimum provisions for health
insurance, unemployment insurance, leave, working conditions and restrictions on total hours.
However, Under Article 191 of the current Labour Code, workplaces (small businesses) with less
than 10 workers may be exempted from certain provisions of the Labour Code if "expediency"
determines it. For example, such businesses are exempt from certain legal obligations5, such as
maximum hour requirements,6 pay disability benefit for workplace injuries7 or mandatory regular
medical testing for juvenile labourers.8 The determination of this "expediency" and exceptions is
detailed by a February 26, 2003 regulation of the Government of Iran, how to identify cases,
issues that may be exempted and for how long.9
Additional exemptions from parts of the labour law for export processing zones workers also
apply.10 In general, employers and workers in free trade zones have their own rules to which the

1

ESCR.7.1.1.S.3 ; ESCR.7.1.P.1 ; ESCR.7.1.O.10
The Labour Law: adopted September 24, 1989, and the Amendments of November 20, 1990 <
https://shenasname.ir/laws/kar/1017 >
3
The Law on Islamic Labour Councils, adopted on December 24, 1984 < https://shenasname.ir/laws/kar/6423 >
4
The Social Security Act, adopted June 24, 1975, and its subsequent amendments < https://shenasname.ir/laws/tamin/1024 >
5
Law on businesses with fewer than 10 employees and their exemptions according to article 191 of Iran’s labour law passed on
19 January 2003 available at http://www.mcls.gov.ir/icm_content/media/law/634643017437412500.pdf
6
Businesses with fewer than 10 employees are exempted from articles 51, 56 and 58 of the labour law
7
Businesses with fewer than 10 employees are also exempted from articles 31 and 32 of the labour law
8
Businesses with fewer than 10 employees are also exempted from articles 81 and 82 of the labour law
9
The Regulation of Implementation of Article 191 of the Labour Law <https://shenasname.ir/laws/kar/6525-56392 >
10
Article 12 of the “Law on How to Manage Free Trade-Industrial Zones of the Islamic Republic of Iran”: <
https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/92283 >
2

1

Select target paragraph3