Support for domestic worker ruling
A proposed bill to give more rights to domestic workers in the UAE has been welcomed by a senior foreign diplomat.
The draft law for household workers, including maids, drivers, houseboys and nannies has been put forward by the Federal National Council to the UAE Cabinet for approval.
Samaraweera M, second secretary at the Sri Lankan embassy in Abu Dhabi, said it was good news.
He said there are 100,000 Sri Lankans employed in the UAE as domestic workers.
“Many domestic workers have been over-worked and abused by employers,” he added. “These people are humans. They need to rest and be treated well by their employers.”
The proposed law, which needs to be agreed by the Cabinet then approved by the President of the UAE, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, would mean workers would be legally entitled to one paid day off a week, sick pay and end- of-service gratuity, among other things.
The move has been welcomed by some employers in the UAE.
Indian expat Mubeen Shah, who employs a maid at her home in Abu Dhabi, said: “It’s a good law. I think it would help protect workers, especially maids and will give them a better life.
“Maids are very important people in our lives as they take care of children and look after the house.”
Mohammed Rami, an Egyptian in Abu Dhabi, added: “Introducing a new law protecting household workers is a good idea. Many workers have been complaining of abuse and mistreatment.”