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Wage no less than KD 40 ... food, shelter, leave
June 21, 2014, 11:39 pm

Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah disclosed that work contract has been introduced by the Ministry of Interior to regulate the relationship between domestic workers and their employers.

In response to parliamentary questions forwarded by MP Khalil Al-Saleh, Sheikh Mohammed pointed to the most significant aspects of the contract which obliges domestic workers to perform the work they have been assigned to perfection and fully.

The contract specifies 100 days probation period for the domestic worker after which the employer is allowed to return he/she to the recruitment office if unable to perform the duty to satisfaction. In this case, the employer is entitled to retrieve the cost incurred and then determine the minimum wage for the domestic worker, which should not be less than 40 dinars. He added the contract obliges the employer to pay salary of the domestic worker at the end of every month and then the provide shelter and food.

The worker has right to take weekend off plus annual paid leave, while the working hours should not exceed 8 hours. The employer is not allowed to keep the passport of the domestic worker. He further disclosed that his ministry, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has suspended the recruitment of Ethiopian domestic workers and stopped issuing them entry visas, as a measure to maintain public security and to protect the lives of Kuwaiti citizens.

He explained that any renewal of residence permit for Ethiopian workers requires approval of the employer and if the employer refuses, the residence permit cannot be renewed and the worker must leave the country.

He noted the ministry will take charge of the deportation, and that his ministry is trying to preempt crime through the deportation of expatriates with criminal tendencies. He stated several reasons for maids or domestic workers resorting to violence, and cited domestic workers recruited from countries whose citizens are characterized with violence, the level of hardship faced by workers from such countries, low payment, violation of regulation, lack of psychological tests on domestic workers before recruitment to guarantee they are willing to work for family or deal with kids.

He also mentioned lack of attention for children who are left with maidservants for long periods without follow-up by the family. He further said the delay in paying overdue wages and financial benefits to housemaids, refusing to approve their trips to their home countries, and preventing them to communicate with their families prompt violence.

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