The Emir of Abu Dhabi Finally Approves Law That Will Protect Domestic Helpers

The new law signed in Abu Dhabi aims to protect domestic helpers in the country. [Image Credit: Gulf News]
The new law signed in Abu Dhabi aims to protect domestic helpers in the country. [Image Credit: Gulf News]

The are a lot of reports showing that our Overseas Filipino Workers are abused physically and mentally by their employers overseas, especially in the Middle East.

Law Protection

Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan finally signed a law stating the working conditions by the domestic helpers in Abu Dhabi. This law aims to balance the working relationship between the employer and the employee. It will protect the interest of both parties with its international labor standards and local legislation.

The Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, according to the Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, will have a law that promotes decent work conditions to domestic helpers, which includes social protection and access to the Ministry and courts.

[Image Credit: Time Out Abu Dhabi]
[Image Credit: Time Out Abu Dhabi]

What is Included?

It is included in the contract that these workers should have regular weekly day-offs, 30 days of paid annual leaves, and the right to retain their personal documents, including passports, working visas, and identification cards. These workers should also have a daily rest of 12 hours, with at least 8 consecutive hours.

The minimum age for a domestic helper is 18 years old, based on the international law which is against child labor. It is the obligation of the placement agencies to educate their domestic helpers when it comes to the nature of work, the place where they will be working, their compensation, and their schedules.

Benefits of Working as a Domestic Helper

As per the law, a domestic helper is entitled to get the following benefits:

  • Payment of wages within ten days from the day they were due.
  • One day of paid rest every week.
  • Twelve hours of rest every day, including eight hours of consecutive rest.
  • Medical insurance
  • 30 days paid leave annually
  • A round-trip ticket home every two years
  • Decent accommodation
  • Decent meal
  • Clothes, if required by employer
  • Possession of identification papers
[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]
[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]
If there are disputes between the employer and the employee, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation will attempt to resolve it within the period of two weeks. If the matter will not be resolved, it will be referred to the court. Under this new law, cases filed by the employee must be in a prompt manner.

This is definitely good news for our fellow OFWs in Abu Dhabi, especially since it covers domestic helpers such as housemaids, private sailors, security guards, chauffeur, groomers, domestic laborers, housekeepers, private teachers, babysitters, private nurses, and many more. It will definitely protect the interest of our kababayans, especially those who are fearing their safety.

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