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At Last, Indians Working in Qatar as Domestic Help Get Basic Legal Protection

With most domestic help living in slave-like conditions in Qatar, a new law has been passed to protect them and their rights.

If you live in Qatar and have hired a domestic help, it’s now unlawful to make them work for more than 10 hours. This is the first such protection law for housemaids, cooks, and nannies that have been passed in the emirate.

The new domestic employment law also covers domestic workers like cleaners, gardeners, and drivers.

In a legislation issued by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, on Tuesday, the law orders employers to pay the staff their salaries at the end of every month, give them at least one day off a week, and an annual leave of three weeks.

And this is just the beginning. When the domestic staff’s contract ends, they are to receive end-of-service benefits that will be equal to a minimum of three weeks’ salary for each year of service, reports AFP.

The law also states that the domestic help cannot be younger than 18 or older than 60.

Source: Flickr

About one lakh women have been working as domestic help in the emirate, which has received lakhs of foreigners looking to work in recent years. Before this, no legal protection has been given to domestic staff.

Some critics have claimed that the domestic help are forced to work in slave-like conditions for 100 hours a week, with their passports and salary withheld by the employer. Some have even experienced sexual and physical abuse. And so a protection law like this was much-needed.

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