First Published: 2013-07-16

 

Good news for foreign domestic workers in Saudi Arabia: New rules, more rights

 

Labour Minister says new rules require employers to pay workers agreed monthly salary without delay, and give them one day off each week.

 

Middle East Online

Will new rules put an end to abuses?

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday new rules to protect the rights of foreign domestic workers, most of whom are from South Asia, but stressed they must "respect" Islam and "obey" their employers.

Labour Minister Adel Faqih said the new rules require employers to pay workers "the agreed monthly salary without delay, and give them a day off each week," in remarks carried by the official SPA news agency.

Employers are also required to provide domestic workers with "suitable accommodations, as well as granting them time to rest for at least nine hours each day," Faqih said.

Under the new guidelines, workers are entitled to paid sick leave and a one-month paid vacation after putting in two years of work as well as end of service compensation equal to one month salary after four years, he said.

But Faqih also insisted that employees must respect "Islam and its teachings... and obey the orders of the employers and their family members concerning getting the agreed work done."

A domestic worker "does not have the right to reject a work, or leave a job, without a valid reason," he added.

Around eight million foreign workers are employed in the oil-rich kingdom, with most of them coming from South Asia and earning low wages. The number of domestic workers is not available.

In June the Philippines said it had signed a landmark agreement with Saudi Arabia that would protect thousands of Filipina maids from being exploited in the kingdom.

The agreement followed a row that erupted in 2011 when the Philippines insisted on a minimum wage of $400 a month for its maids among other measures.

 

Carnage in Gaza Strip as death toll passes 1,300

Morocco king deplores unequal wealth distribution

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

West watches post-Gathafi Libya descend in chaos

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce

Hezbollah chief speaks out on Gaza

Two rival Islamic states in Syria power struggle

Crete protest against Syria chemicals destruction in Mediterranean

74 killed in IS assault on Syria regime territory

Iran confirms arrest of Washington Post correspondent

Somali 'Shebab commanders' killed in AU offensive

Paris: survivors of Air Algerie jet crash 'unlikely'

Jordan shots down drone near Syria border

Gaza civilian toll spiralling to above 800