Qatar’s Domestic Employment Law to Help Conditions of Domestic Workers

Qatar has approved a new law restricting working hours and benefits for its domestic workers.

The domestic employment law orders employers in Qatar to limit domestic workers to a maximum of 10 hours of work a day, pay their wages at the end of each month, allow at least one day off a week, and an annual leave of three weeks, the Qatar News Agency reported.

Upon completion of their working contracts, workersWhen their contracts end, workers will also receive end-of-service benefits equating to a minimum of three weeks’ wages for each year of service.

In addition to domestic workers, the new law also will benefit cleaners, drivers and gardeners employed in Qatar.

The legislation was issued on Tuesday by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, QNA reported.

Prior to passing of the law, Qatar has long been under severe international pressure to improve its record on treatment of migrant workers, notably those in the construction sector involved in the run-up to 2022 World Cup. Likewise, labor advocates have long campaigned for the protection of domestic staff, many of whom claim they are forced to work under slave-like conditions.A

A Guardian investigation in 2014 found that many women who travel to the emirate for employment were forced to work for 100 hours a week. They also had their passports taken away and their wages withheld, and many had experienced physical and sexual abuse.