Qatar has approved a law limiting domestic staff to a maximum of 10 hours work a day, the first such protection for thousands of household maids, nannies and cooks in the emirate.
The "Domestic Employment Law" also orders employers to pay staff wages at the end of each month and entitles workers to at least one day off per week and an annual leave of three weeks, the Qatar News Agency reported. They will also receive end-of-service benefits equating to a minimum of three weeks wages for each year of service when their contract ends.
The law prohibits staff being recruited from abroad who are older than 60 and younger than 18. Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers have flocked to the gas-rich Gulf emirate in recent years, including almost 100,000 women working as house staff. Other domestic workers covered by the new law include cleaners, gardeners and drivers. The legislation was issued yesterday by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, QNA reported. The legislation comes at a time when Qatar's laws remain under scrutiny from the International Labour Organisation. The UN body has given Qatar until November to improve its human rights record or face sanctions.