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JustHere | August 23, 2017

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Draft law on domestic workers submitted to Qatar cabinet

Draft law on domestic workers submitted to Qatar cabinet

A new draft law on domestic workers that has been submitted to the Qatari Cabinet for approval that seeks suitable working conditions for them.

According to a report by local Arabic daily Al Sharq, the draft law is considered to be one of ‘the best laws’ in the GCC region, and is based on international work standards implemented by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention. Currently Qatar’s Labour Law doesn’t include any article on the rights of domestic workers who comprise housemaids, drivers, gardeners, cooks and other household workers (Read our earlier report on draft law here).

The law also addresses other factors such as the number of working hours for domestic workers, and whether or not they are entitled to days of rest on weekends – a topic that has been widely debated in the local community.

Statistics from an ILO report published this year show that 38.9% of all employed females in Qatar are domestic workers, and so are the 2.8% of all employed males. The report also revealed that domestic workers in the Middle East are denied annual leave, weekly rest period and limited working hours. Read JustHere’s earlier piece on the plight of domestic workers in the country here.

In the past few weeks, the status of migrant workers in Qatar, mainly in the construction industry, has been severely criticised by the international media. In this scenario, a law that protects domestic workers would redeem Qatar’s image to a great degree.

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