GCC to upgrade maids’ contracts

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GCC labor ministers have agreed on minimum terms in the contracts of domestics to improve the widely criticized working conditions of over 2.4 million foreign maids, an official said.

The move comes as these ministers are to meet with their Asian counterparts in Kuwait City this week to discuss the conditions of foreign labor in the region.

The new contract entitles domestics to a weekly day off, annual leave and the right to live outside their employer’s house, the director general of Kuwait’s Public Manpower Authority, Jamal Al-Dossari, told AFP.

It also limits the working day to eight hours.

“The contract has been approved by the ministers, though some countries said they have laws that are better for workers. The ministers agreed that the contract should be the minimum granted to workers,” Dossari said.

Under the contract, domestic helpers are also entitled to end of service indemnity and overtime pay for extra work for a maximum of two hours daily, in addition to banning employers from confiscating the workers’ passports.

 
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