The Emir of Qatar has signed Law No. 15 of 2017, which provides more legal protection to household workers such as nannies, gardeners, drivers and other domestic help. Previously, this sector is not included in the Labor Law, thus were not given written contracts.
This new law gives more protection and spells out rights entitled to domestic help. At the same time, they are given guidelines on the rules they have to follow in order to keep their jobs. The employers are also guided on how they should treat their household helpers.
New Law Signed in Qatar Which Enforces Rights of Household Workers
Household workers as well as their employers should be aware of these laws. Law No. 15 states that they are entitled to the following:
- Three weeks of paid vacation every year, and paid roundtrip ticket to go home every two years
- Free healthcare, adequate accommodation and clothing
- On-time monthly salary payments, by cash or direct deposit
- End-of-service benefits, consisting of three weeks’ wages of work rendered per year
- Fair treatment of household help by maintaining their dignity and protection from harm
- Employers should not deduct recruitment costs from their helpers
- Employers are no longer allowed to bring their household help out of the country, for work, against their will
- Age limit for domestic workers is between 18 to 60 years old. For exceptional cases, the labor minister will grant exception
- Both the employer and household help should have a copy of the work contract; another copy should be filed with the government
- A fine of QR5,000 to QR10,000 will be given to those who violate the law
Requirements from the domestic worker
These benefits are for the welfare of the domestic workers in each household. In return, they are expected to respect “the laws, customs, social traditions, religious and moral values” of Qatar. They should also do their duties well, and keep sensitive information about their employers so as not to hurt their interests.
They also cannot violate the terms of their contract by working for others. If the domestic worker cannot meet these requirements, they can be terminated and will not get the end-of-service benefits.