Advisory Council discusses draft law on domestic workers

 07 Jun 2017 - 1:51

Advisory Council discusses draft law on domestic workers
(file photo for representation purpose only - Zainal Abd Halim / Reuters)

The Peninsula

The draft law for regulating domestic workers including housemaids granted weekly off and fixed 10 hours duty in a day. Domestic helpers include drivers, nannies, cooks, gardeners and their equivalents.

The proposed law also gave break for rest during the duty but asked not be included in the duty hour. Domestic helps deserve weekly off that should not be less than 24 hours in a row and weekly off day will be specified as per the contract, said the draft law.

The Advisory Council discussed the proposed law especially the clauses related to end of service, monthly wages and duty hours in a regular session held on Monday, Al Sharq reports. The services committee of the Council viewed that the end of service should not be more than 10 years as per the human resources law that put sealing of 10 years as maximum for expatriates. And the end of service should not be less than three weeks wage of domestic help per year. A member of Advisory Council proposed the services committee to reduce the end of service period from 10 years to five year to ease the employers.

The members also raised concerns on months long annual leave of domestic helps and demanded the services committee to make balance in safeguarding the rights of both parties. The Advisory Council decided to complete the discussion on proposed law in the next session.

The proposed law asked the employers to pay the monthly wages of domestic helps at the end of every month with maximum delay to third day of next month. And the payment should be not considered valid until it was transferred in the bank account of the domestic help or give him in cash after taking their signature as prove that they received the salary. The proposed law also asked the employers to not make any deduction from their salaries they spend on their recruitment or for anything else.

The domestic helps are entitled for three week paid annual leave and they have right to choose the vacation timing. After each two years, they will deserve for return air ticket benefit to their home country unless they were going for good so they will get only one side ticket.

The employers cannot take the domestic help outside the country if they are against their will. If it happens the domestic help has right to cancel their work contract. In this case, they will deserve complete end of service and air ticket to go back to their country.

The proposed law allows manpower agencies to recruit domestic helps on the behalf of employers after taking permission from the authorities concerned but banned hiring those less than 18 years or more than 60 years.

The proposed law suggests punishment QR5,000 as maximum on manpower agencies for violating the provisions of law and employers for taking domestic helps out of the country without their will and taking services more than 10 hours.

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