By: Binsal Abdul Kader
Gulf News | 26 September 2017
Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Senior diplomats and labour recruitment agencies welcomed the new law protecting domestic workers in the UAE saying it’s a step in the right direction.
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has signed into law the protection of domestic workers in the UAE which provides them essential working conditions, including a weekly day off, 30 days of paid annual leave and the right to retain personal documents. The new law also provides for a daily rest of at least 12 hours, including at least eight consecutive hours.
Philippine Ambassador Constancio Vingno, Jr. said, while he has yet to see the copy of the actual legislation, the law’s provisions released to the media are good indicators of the protection that will be accorded to domestic workers.
“The law has made it clear that domestic workers are now in the same level as other workers who are skilled, highly skilled and professionals as they now have better terms and conditions in employment. It’s a vast improvement from the former setup when no law was in place specifically for domestic workers. Problems like contract substitution will be stemmed and there is no more room for fooling any party with this new law,” Vingno told Gulf News.
Mohammad Imran, the Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UAE, said: “As a labour-sending nation, we appreciate the move as it will benefit our domestic workers.” He said the 12-hour daily rest [as stipulated by the law] would help them work more sincerely and attentively.