SAUDI ARABIA -
By Courtney Trenwith
Saudi Arabia has passed historic legislation it claims will protect the rights of domestic workers as well as employers, according to local media.
The kingdom’s 2m domestic workers, including maids and drivers, have been among the most exploited employees in the country and the new law follows years of disputes between Saudi Arabia and labour exporting countries, mostly from southern Asia and Africa. Workers will now be given nine hours of free time daily, one day off per week, one-month paid holiday every two years and sick leave. Their probation period has to be limited to three months.
However, the law also allows for domestic workers to be fired or penalised if they do not respect Islam, obey Saudi law or “carry out their duties perfectly”. They also must obey their employer and his family members, protect the family’s property, preserve family secrets and not harm children or elderly members, the law reportedly states.
“The worker will not have the right to reject any work or leave the job without any genuine reason,” Arab News reported.