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Bill to organise recruitment of domestics Assembly votes Thursday on resigned MPs

 KUWAIT CITY, May 12: The National Assembly is expected to vote over acceptance of the resignations of five lawmakers during a special session on Thursday, while all necessary procedures may be taken ahead of the session, an informed source said. He revealed that the by-elections to fill the vacant seats will likely be held on Saturday, June 21, indicating that the necessary constitutional formalities will precede the elections.

He explained that the elections will enable the new lawmakers to take oath of office before end of the current parliamentary term. MPs Kamil Al-Awadi, Mohammed Tana, Mohammed Al-Jabri, Yakoub Al- Sana and Faisal Al-Kandari have presented a draft bill on the establishment of joint stock companies for the recruitment of domestic workers. The bill stipulates the following functions of the company:

■ Training of workers in specialized centers before entering the country.

■ Creation of reception centers for the recruited workers during arrival and departure, without requiring them to bear the expenses or cost of their recruitment or departure.

■ Provide the centers with the necessary facilities to ensure the workers are treated humanely with appropriate accommodation, means of communication and supervision.

■ Use of modern methods, including software, information protection, hardware systems and other personal data of the workers.

■ Establish a system to secure the rights of workers when employers treat them unfairly or fail to grant their rights, which must be given to them at fixed dates and terms as per their contracts in accordance with the laws and regulations in this regard. In the explanatory note of the bill, the lawmakers pointed out that the Kuwaiti Constitution protects the rights of workers.

They said this is the basis for the issuance of various laws on the licensing of recruitment offices in different countries to hire domestic workers to provide services to the family those with special needs and the elderly. They stressed the need to implement this proposal in light of the recent reports on the abusive acts of recruitment offices, especially since some employers have been found to be mistreating their workers and deprived them of their rights.

They added such malpractices have tarnished the image of Kuwait in the international community, particularly in terms of human rights issues. Under such circumstances, it has become necessary to establish companies specialized in the recruitment of workers to guarantee strict compliance with the rules and regulations on human rights; particularly in the payment of salary that is commensurate to the nature of work. The lawmakers suggested the establishment of one company initially, to be followed by other companies after years of working with the first one.

The company’s board of directors should consist of members from relevant authorities with vast experience in the recruitment of domestic workers to ascertain that the rights of both the employers and employees are protected, while taking into consideration the customs and traditions of the country. The bill also mandates the establishment of shelters for domestic workers in case of recruitment and repatriation to their countries once their work contracts are expired. Meanwhile, MP Mohammed Tana Al- Anazi has recommended that official working hours in ministries and government institutions should be from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm during Ramadan. He also suggested declaring the last 10 days of Ramadan as official holidays, taking into consideration the extremely hot weather in the country throughout the holy month.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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