Expatriates in Kuwait will need to have a minimum monthly salary of KD2,500 ($8,310) to hire Filipino domestic helpers, according to a local media report.
Kuwaiti nationals are not included in the new salary requirement clause since they already earn a minimum salary of more than KD1,500, and receive government subsidies for food and allowances, a source from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait told local daily Kuwait Times.
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The clause will be included in the new standard contract that will need to be signed by employers and workers.
“This new policy protects the welfare of Filipino domestic helpers. The cost of living in Kuwait is very high and expats are also paying rent and a lot more. Even if their salary is around KD1,500, it will not be enough to cover everything including paying their domestic helpers,” the source told the paper.
“We want to implement this rule to avoid non-payment of salaries.”
In January last year, the Philippines issued a ban on domestic workers travelling for work to Kuwait after a Filipina maid in Kuwait was allegedly killed following abuse by her employers in late December.
The ban was removed in February following discussions between the two governments and the implementation of a standard contract agreement.
Under the contract, employers must provide the worker with appropriate housing equipped with all the necessities, suitable food and clothing and teh agreed salary on time. The employer is also obliged to provide medical treatment and nursing by registering the worker in the health system applicable in Kuwait.
Employers will be prohibited from keeping any of the worker’s personal identity documents such as the passport. The worker will also be entitled to own a phone and use it outside working hours provided that she guards the secrets and privacy of the household and uses the phone in a manner consistent with public morals.
Filipino workers will also be entitled to a paid full day leave per week and must not work for more than 12 hours a day.
The worker should be allowed to have no less than an hour’s break after five consecutive hours of work, and the right to at least eight hours of consecutive night rest.
Employers are also prohibited to assign a domestic worker to work outside Kuwait or be transferred to another employer without the worker’s written consent. If this occurs without the agreement of the worker, the worker will be returned to the Philippines at the expense of the employer.
The Philippines is the second largest source market for domestic workers in Kuwait, after India.
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