If you think service workers have it rough in the USA, check out the scene overseas. Basic legal protections are just beginning, like getting paid on time and retaining your own passport!
DUBAI // Diplomats described a draft law on domestic staff rights passed by the Federal National Council as “pro-worker” and recommended firm implementation to ensure their interests are protected.
The bill, stipulating a weekly day off, 30 days’ paid holidays, at least 12 hours of rest a day including eight consecutive hours off and the right to retain passports and identity cards, was passed by the FNC on Wednesday.
Officials in embassies and consulates across the UAE welcomed the move and said enforcement would reduce common complaints about pressure to work long hours, non-payment and late payment of wages.
The diplomats wanted to know more about proposals to monitor the punctuality of salary payments.
“It is a positive development because the benefits of rest are clearly stated and passport custody will be given to workers,” said Ophelia Almenario, labour attache at the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabi.
“One issue we have raised is non-payment of salaries on time and a mechanism to monitor wages, like in the case of labourers where they have wage protection implemented and salaries must be deposited in the bank.
As of now, we don’t know if there is a provision to this effect in the new law.”
According to the draft, wages must be paid by the 10th of the following month with a receipt signed by the worker. Tighter regulations on wage protection are expected to follow.
The draft must be approved by the President Sheikh Khalifa.