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Meet to discuss domestics work terms Kuwait to host labour ministry confab

KUWAIT CITY, July 23: Earlier this week, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh met with Director-General of the GCC Council for Labor and Social Affairs Aqeel Ahmed Al-Jassim to discuss the preparations for the 31st session of GCC labor ministers, which will be held in Kuwait this coming November in order to discuss the GCC domestic workers terms and regulations agreement.

The draft GCC agreement stipulates that the employer is obligated to provide respectable food, water, clothing and accommodation, equipped with necessities that reflects the value of the worker’s private life, as well as allowing them to communicate with family and loved ones in a regular basis.
The draft GCC agreement also stipulates that the employer must ensure the workers recruitment visa, and bear all governmental fees that entails issuance, renewing, or cancellation of work permits, entry and exit visas, in addition to bearing the fees of returning the worker back to his/her homeland when the contract expires, the worker’s passport is also considered a personal asset, therefore kept with the worker and not the employer.
Furthermore, according to the draft copy of the GCC domestic worker terms and regulations, a worker’s salary must be paid in a regular and timely manner, due by the end of every month, and a signed receipt is the only thing that could prove that the salary of a certain month has been received by the worker. Domestic workers are entitled to a one day leave (full 24 hours) every week, as the agreement goes, and in the case that a worker is forced to work during his/her weekly leave, they are then entitled to a replacement day that would be agreed upon, or a compensation payment .
Other than intentional termination or expiration of the working contract, it will also be considered void in the unfortunate case of the employer’s death, separation from the family house where the worker resides, or the absence of the employer out of the country for more than 6 months for any reason, if none of the employer’s family member comes forth and transfers the working permit to their name. 
Amongst others, these terms and regulations stipulated in the draft GCC agreement are subjected to discussions and debates during the 31st session of GCC labor ministers this coming November, and considering international human rights organizations are eyeballing Kuwait on this matter, MPs are voicing their hopes that the session will conclude with positive outcomes, solving issues that this area suffers from.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb

Arab Times Staff

By: Ahmed Al-Naqeeb

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