There are thousands of people who work in Qatar as domestic helpers, including in the roles of drivers, governesses, cooks and gardeners.
Qatar has in recent times been giving more importance to stopping their exploitation by employers.
Law No. 15 of 2017 states that a domestic worker can work only a maximum of 10 hours a day, including eight hours of work plus two hours of overtime work, an official told The Peninsula.
“The law stipulates that the maximum hours of work shall not exceed 10 hours a day, unless there’s an agreement to the contrary, interrupted by periods for worship, rest and food. Such periods shall not be included in the calculation of the hours of work,” said Fares Al Kaabi, Head of the Department of Manpower Agencies at the Ministry of Administrative Development Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA).
He was speaking to media-persons on the sidelines of a seminar on the rights of domestic workers organised by MADLSA in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Interior, ILO, embassies of major domestic workers’ exporting countries and manpower agencies for recruitment of domestic helps.
Al Kaabi said domestic workers shall be entitled to a paid weekly rest holiday, which is not less than 24 consecutive hours adding that the timing of the weekly rest shall be determined based on the agreement between both parties as indicated in the labor contract.
Speaking on the recruitment charges of domestic workers, Al Kaabi said that supply and demand in the market rules the charges as recruitment fees is different from one country to another.
According to the law, the recruitment of domestic workers from abroad shall be undertaken by one of the recruitment offices certified in accordance with provisions of the Labour Law.
The law stipulates that an employer shall be responsible to provide suitable housing and food to a domestic worker, appropriate medical care, medicine, and medical equipment in the case of sickness, or injury during the performance of his/her duties, or as a result therefrom, without incurring any financial burdens on the domestic worker.