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Thu 9 Jul 2009 06:51 AM

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Saudi Arabia passes new domestic worker law - report

Shoura Council move aims to protect rights amid concerns over treatment.

Saudi Arabia passes new domestic worker law - report
NEW LAW: The Shoura Council has passed new legislation aimed at protecting the rights of domestic workers in Saudi Arabia. (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia's Shoura Council has passed a new bill aimed at protecting the rights of domestic workers in the country.According to media reports in the kingdom on Thursday, the council, however, deleted a clause in the draft bill which banned staff from having to work between 10pm and 5am.

But the bill does warn employers not to demand workers to undertake chores that were not mentioned in the work contract or to send them to work for someone else, Arab News reported.

The bill also states that a domestic worker should get nine hours of rest every day and that he or she should not be asked to do a job that could cause injury.

The new legislation says that the worker should be provided with suitable accommodation and allowed breaks for entertainment, prayer and food while the employer should prepare three copies of the contract in Arabic with translation.

For the employer, the bill also stipulates that a worker should obey the orders of the employer and his family members in addition to looking after his properties.

The treatment of domestic workers has been a cause for concern among human rights campaigners in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

Qatar is currently putting the final touches to its first national survey of domestic workers in a bid to identify and resolve the daily problems they face.

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