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Talks on to shift domestics to ‘cover’ of national labour law

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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 21: To solve the aggravating problems facing the domestic labor market, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) held discussions to cancel the law related to this category of workers and include the domestic workers in the National Labor Law according to Article 18, reports Al-Qabas daily. Reliable sources told the daily, this step will provide protection for domestic workers, limit their working hours to 8, and get rid of the loopholes in the current law, which allow sponsors to make their employees work for 12 hours without rest.

The sources stated, one of the most prominent advantages, which will contribute to promoting the inclusion of domestic workers under the umbrella of the civil labor law, is the obligation of the first party, the “guarantor,” to have a bank account for the worker through which the monthly salaries are deposited, in addition to other legal follow-up on holidays and vacations.

The sources added, it will help the Domestic Labor Department protect workers and receive complaints and follow up or refer the issue to the judiciary, in addition to coordinating with the embassies of concerned countries regarding the employment conditions with the aim of finding solutions to them and facilitating leaving the country, and cited the example of 300 Filipinos left the country recently after settling their conditions under the supervision of their country’s embassy. Work is also underway to solve the labor problems of some Sri Lankans, in addition to increasing the volume of domestic workers’ recruitment to Kuwait.

The sources pointed out the ILO and PAM discussed the use of technology to provide innovative solutions, improve working conditions, and follow inspection procedures via the Internet, which ensures wider access to workplaces and the residence of workers, noting the importance of activating the mechanism of labor participation in electronic services.

In the context of fundamental amendments in the labor market, responsible sources revealed a trend by the competent authorities to amend the labor law in the private sector, in order to raise the minimum wage from 75 dinars to 100 according to the study that will be completed soon, after receiving international human rights observations in this regard saying the current minimum wage is not commensurate with the high cost of living, and is not sufficient to cover the life requirements of these simple people.

The sources added, if the domestic workers are covered by the private sector labor law, it will oblige the sponsor to open a bank account for the worker to deposit the monthly salaries; legal follow-up of the worker’s rights on holidays and vacations; expediting labor complaints and referring them to the judiciary; coordination with the embassies of different countries regarding the employment situation and strict measures against sponsors who delay paying salaries.

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