New Saudi rules set rights for domestic workers

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A maid carries a folding chair for waiting Saudi women along the sea front in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah. AFP FILE PHOTO

RIYADH—Saudi Arabia has announced 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.

Labor 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.

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  • kanoy

    ANOTHER GIFT FROM THE DO NOTHING DONE NOTHING RP GOV……LEAVE THOSE ROSARIES AND BIBLES BEHIND

    • Pedring2

      Go home Kanuto and live with your fellow greedy mongoloids. Shame on you!

  • Milesaway

    A domestic worker “does not have the right to reject a work, or leave a job, without a valid reason,” ..
    Thefore, they must include the Duties & Resposibilities of the Domestic Worker in the Employment Contract and if the task or work is not within the contract she has the right to reject. To be fair!.

    • Rejenal Pang

      are U 2 yrs old

  • judefawley

    Our country is an exporter of SLAVES!!

  • resortman

    Kaawa awang mga pinay, ninenegosyo ng sariling gobyerno. Kung ang ninanakaw sa pondo ng bayan at nailalaan sana sa mga kababaihang maralita, di na dapat umalis at iwanan ang pamilya para magpaalipin at gawing basahan sa ibang mapang aping dayuhang bayan….We must empower women thru education, justice and equality!!

    • opinyonlangpo

      I am glad that some Filipinos still thinks that way. Sending these women is like sending them to a lions den, many are molested, raped, beaten and tortured, abused, and worst also killed. Saudi Arabia is a country very protective of their women, while Philippines in contrast just send them there on their own unprotected and at the mercy of their employers. The government must do something about this.

  • Rejenal Pang

    that is not a fair deal the workers treat like slaves….but care workers means slave in Middle East anyway
    this will give too much power to the employer what about if they ask for a rim job or blows job.
    may be that’s why almost all of the domestic workers are Philippines

  • albert

    New Saudi rules set rights for domestic workers.. <<< is this the achievement of pNOy admin..?

  • juan de la cruz

    It’s time that the government don’t send domestic helper abroad. Can’t we hear anything from our politicians or lawmaker to tackle this issue? NO DOMESTIC HELPER DEPLOYMENT!!!

    POEA should impose such regulation and punish all recruitment agencies who try to send domestic helpers abroad.

    Reports of domestic helpers death, raped , maltreatment, abuses from the hand of Philippine foreign service personnel, are these not enough for us to act now?

    We see the economic side, but we don’t see the sufferings on the other side, yet we don’t protect them.

    To overcome this, Job opportunities locally should be created for these domestic helpers. The absent of vision to create local jobs from our local government only shows the in capabilities of our politicians and the government as a whole.

    So many pinay abroad sort to selling their bodies to be able to support their families financial needs, do we want to see more of this thing to happen in the near future?

    Being a domestic helper in the middle east is a 24/7 jobs without benefits and not even a real decent food to consume with.they treat you as pure slaves.

    NO DEPLOYMENT OF DOMESTIC HELPERS ABROAD!!!

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