Kuwait – Interior Minister of Labor Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah issued a decision setting KD 60 (PHP 9,300) as the minimum monthly wage for domestic helpers in Kuwait.
The ministry also authorized that offices recruiting maids from overseas must submit a bank guarantee worth KD 40,000 (PHP 6.2 million) valid for two years at the time of founding the office or renewing its license.
The decision sets the procedures for settling disagreements between maids, their employers or offices, which are required to offer an employment contract for them. The interior ministry’s domestic helpers department is trusted with the powers to resolve such disagreements within three months. The law grants domestic helpers unprecedented rights including a maximum of eight working hours, a mandatory weekend, and a 30-day paid annual leave.
Maids are now entitled to demand overtime for working extra hours. The law outlaws employing maids under 20 years and above 50 years of age. It also lays down one maid for families of up to four, two maids for families with five to eight members, and three maids for families consisting of more than eight people. The law also lays down an end-of-service remuneration for maids equal to a month’s pay for each year of service. This law also applies to private drivers, baby-sitters, and cooks.
The Assembly had also passed another law laying down to set up a shareholding company to take on domestic helpers. Right now, the company and offices will work side by side. Under the law, 60% of the proposed company’s shares will be given to the union of cooperative societies and 10% each to four government agencies including Kuwait Investment Authority, Public Institution for Social Security, Public Authority for Minors Affairs and Kuwait Airways.
There are around 600,000 domestic helpers in Kuwait, the majority of whom are Asian. MP Ahmad Lari welcomed the interior ministry’s decision to issue the bylaws. He added that the Assembly will introduce any necessary amendments to the law whenever the need exists.
MP Ahmad Ashour presented amendments to the social assistance law under which he proposed that monthly assistance be provided to needy married Kuwaiti women when they reach 40 years of age, down from the current age of 55. He also proposed that Kuwaiti women married to foreigners or stateless people should be given social assistance, housing allowance, child allowance as well as social allowance like their male counterparts.
Source : Kuwaitimes