Qatar has introduced a new “Domestic Employment Law” that will provide legal protection for domestic workers, giving them more rights and control over their contracts.
The law was signed by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
This law specifies that staff such as drivers, gardeners and nannies will now be able to limit their services to 10 hours a day, work six days a week and be entitled to an annual holiday.
They will also be given paid sick leaves and guaranteed breaks for meals and worship.
The law prohibits staff being recruited from abroad who are older than 60 and younger than 18.
Violating the law could result in fines worth $1,373 to $2,746.
Previously, domestic workers were not covered by Qatar’s labour laws, meaning they had limited protection in legal disputes with their employers.
Once the new law takes effect, domestic staff will be able to sign a legal employment contract with their employers. They will also get end-of-service benefits equal to a minimum of three weeks wages for each year of service when their contract ends.
Around 1.9 million people in Qatar are low-skilled workers who work in construction and other jobs.