Qatar Approves Draft Law to Protect Domestic Workers
Things might finally be looking up for certain workers in the country…
The Qatar Cabinet has brought back the legislation concerning the legal rights of Qatar nannies, maids, drivers, gardeners and cooks. Through creating a common contract for domestic workers, they would be offered legal protection. As the law stands now, there are no laws governing domestic help.
Qatar Approves Draft Law to Protect Domestic Help
The current law doesn’t require for domestic workers to sign contracts and therefore, they cannot file any complaints to the Ministry of Labour against their employers. Now, officials approved a legislation to change that.
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The bill would clearly outline the rights and duties of house help and set guidelines to regulate the employee-employer relationship. Six months ago, the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) in Qatar made a recommendation that this legislation be implemented.
This type of draft law has been in the talks for years now. In 2014, it was put aside as the GCC started discussing having a unified domestic workers legislation. However, the following year, disagreements about the “generosity” of the legislation caused it to reach a halt.
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The lack of a law to regulate domestic work has subjected some these workers to excessive working hours, unpaid wages, assaults, freedom restrictions and more.
While there is nothing official released right now, the provisions of the law were discussed back in 2011. There is a possibility it would include some of the following:
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A signed contract between the worker and the employer must be signed
Workers are entitled to free housing and food, breaks, three weeks annual leave and the freedom to practice their religion
Workers must get appropriate medical care during illness and cannot be forced to work when sick
Workers can quit anytime they want to
Workers need to be employed through a licenced agency
For each year worked, two weeks of basic pay must be given to the worker as end-of-service benefits
The minimum age of the worker is 18 years old
The employer is responsible for the costs of visas and medical tests
The employer cannot demand any work to be done that’s not included in the contract
The employer shall bare all costs in the event of the worker’s death
At this point, all these terms are speculation. Once the law is hopefully passed, we will update you with all the provisions.