Draft law on domestic workers stumbles on weekly holiday

January 21, 2013 - 2:18:50 am

DOHA: A draft law on domestic workers has run into trouble as it is still being hotly discussed by the Supreme Council of Family Affairs and some of its provisions like granting a day off to a worker in a week are a subject of discord among those concerned. 

The draft is stuck at the Council as those concerned do not find some of its provisions to be in line with the domestic work environment in Qatar, Al Sharq reported yesterday.

Especially objectionable to people is giving a day off every week to a worker, including housemaids, the daily said.

However, some in the Council are of the opinion that maids and other household workers must be given those basic rights like specifying their working hours and allowing them weekly rest.

Qatar’s labor law covers private sector workers and they are entitled to a day off in a week, so why such a basic right should not be given to domestic workers, a source told the daily. He said Geneva-based International Labor Organisation has recently issued an international convention on job agreements for household workers (Number 189) that needs to be ratified by Arab countries.

The agreement gives domestic helps the right to weekly off and fixes their working hours. The source told the daily: “So why should we treat the labor law and the household workers’ law separately?” Both categories belong to workers and they are entitled to basic rights like weekly offs and fixed working hours daily. 

The Peninsula