Saudi employers ordered to pay maids $30,000 in owed wages

Move comes after two Indonesian employees complained to their embassy that they had not received their salaries for years

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Two Saudi employers have been ordered to pay their maids SR111,800 ($29,806) in outstanding wages in a rare win for domestic staff in the kingdom, it was reported.

The Riyadh Police domestic workers security centre made the order after two Indonesian employees complained to their embassy that they had not received their salaries for years, Saudi Gazette reported.

The embassy referred the workers to the domestic workers security centre, which set up a committee to investigate the matter.

The committee verified the workers’ claims and detained the two citizens, the Gazette report said.

One of the employees said she worked for two years with a sponsor, who paid her on time, before he transferred her sponsorship to one of his relatives, for whom she worked for six years and accumulated SAR70,200 in unpaid wages.

The other worker said she worked for six and a half years with her sponsor and accumulated SR41,600 in unpaid wages.

One sponsor reportedly admitted to not paying up, claiming he did not have the money.

He was detained until the wages were paid.

Last year the Kingdom announced new rules to protect the rights of domestic workers, including that employers pay an agreed monthly salary as well as provide a day off each week.

They are also required to provide suitable accommodation, as well as at least nine hours rest each day.

Under the new guidelines, workers are entitled to paid sick leave and a one-month paid vacation after putting in two years of work as well as end of service compensation equal to one month salary after four years.

However, employees must obey the orders of their employers. They also did not have the right to reject a work, or leave a job, without a valid reason.

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