Working as an Overseas Filipino Worker is considered as one of the toughest jobs all over the world. We might not be aware but these people are sacrificing more than what we think about. They are living a life away from their families and loved ones. They are spending special occasions alone. And there are even times when they are experiencing abuse not only from their colleagues but also from their employers.
Lately, the number of physically, sexually, and emotionally abused OFWs are increasing. These migrant workers, particularly domestic helpers, are suffering from the hands of their employers.
Rights of a Domestic Helper
Some domestic helpers, especially those working in Saudi Arabia, are not aware of their rights as domestic helpers. If you are working as a family helper or domestic helper in Saudi Arabia, here are your rights under the rules of the Kingdom:
1. Clean and safe place to stay with food. It is your employer’s obligation to provide you with a clean and safe place to sleep and the right food for every meal.
2. Annual leave. After working for two years in your employer, you are entitled to a month of paid vacation leave.
3. One day off in a week. You have the right to ask a day of holiday in a leave, not unless you have a different condition with our employer.
4. Rest time. You need to have at least nine hours of rest in a day.
5. Sick leave. You are entitled to a paid sick leave. However, this sick leave should not be more than 30 days in a year. You also need to show a medical certificate proving that you need to have a sick leave.
6. Medical care. If you are sick, it is your employer’s obligation to have a doctor check you up or take you to the hospital if needed.
7. Hazard. You should not be given any risky or harmful job that can cause harm to your health, security, and wellbeing.
8. Scope of work. Your employers should not give you other jobs other than the ones indicated in your contract. They are also not allowed to take you to another person, unless necessary.
9. Sub-contracting. Your employers are not allowed to sub-contract you to other employers.
10. Salary. Your employers are required to pay your salary by the end of every month in the Islamic calendar.
11. Kind of salary. All salaries are required to be paid by cash or check with appropriate receipt. You can also ask your employer to transfer it to a bank account in the Philippines.
12. Salary deduction. Your employers cannot deduct any amount in your salary, unless:
(a) You broke something in their house and you need to pay the item.
(b) You asked for a salary advance.
(c) There is an administrative decision or court judgment filed against you and the Court decided to deduct the amount in your salary.
13. End of service benefits. You have the right to receive End of Service Benefits which is equivalent to one month of the salary that you are receiving, provided that you work for the employer for four years. If you worked for them for 12 consecutive hours, you are entitled to receive three months worth of your salary.
14. Repatriation and deportation. Once your employment contract has expired or it was canceled by your employer for no valid reason, they need to pay the total cost to send you back to the Philippines.
Know your rights, Kabayan! If your employer is not following any of these rights, you may send a message or call the POLO-OWWA or the consulate for immediate action:
+966 55 521 9614
+966 12 619 0997
+966 56 981 9720
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com