GCC plans ‘one policy’ for domestic workers

Feet of woman mopping kitchen

Members of five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have discussed plans for a regional system to manage domestic workers, the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said on Sunday.

The representatives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, meeting on the sidelines of the 45th session of the Arab Labour Conference (ALC), agreed to establish standard regulations on transfer of employment, contracts and minimum wage.

The group discussed a “common vision to run the file of domestic workers during all stages of the temporary contractual work cycle” it said.

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Those present agreed to form a technical team to submit proposals that could “outline a common Gulf vision in the file of domestic workers”.  These recommendations will be considered in a future meeting, the ministry indicated.

The working conditions of domestic staff in the six-member GCC have come under scrutiny by human rights groups in recent years due to instances of physical, sexual and emotional abuse by their employers.

The UAE also approved a new domestic worker law last year designed to protect basic rights including the payment of salaries within 10 days of being due, the entitlement of one day’s rest per week and 12 hours of rest per day, and 30 days of paid vacation a year.

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Source Credit: Gulf Business

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