Valley

Gulf countries to improve domestic workers’ condition

- HOM KARKI, DOHA

Dec 6, 2014-

Labour ministries of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are said to have agreed on minimum contract terms for domestic workers in a bid to improve their working conditions.

Under-secretary level meeting of the GCC held in Kuwait recently reached a decision to this effect and that the new contract would affect about 2.4 million domestic workers, including Nepalis, in the countries. The move comes at a time when the GCC, that comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, comes under strong criticism by international rights groups for alleged ill-treatment of foreign workers, particularly domestic helpers. Nepal has banned Nepali domestic workers from seeking employment in these countries.

The director general of Kuwait’s Public Manpower Authority, Jamal al-Dossari, said they submitted the draft of the proposal to labour ministers of concerned countries and the contract would come into effect once the ministries approve it. It is learnt that labour sending countries, including Nepal, are informed of the proposal. The new contract entitles domestic workers to a weekly day off, annual leave and the right to live outside employer’s house.

Likewise, the workers are entitled to end of service indemnity and overtime pay for extra work fand the employers are banned from confiscating worker’s passports. Nepali Acting Ambassador to Kuwait Bishal Bhattarai said domestic workers would have their rights protected once the provision comes into effect.

Published: 06-12-2014 08:52

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