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Fri 28 Nov 2014 01:03 AM

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UAE recalls Irish ambassador amid staff mistreatment claims

Ministry of Foreign Affairs says allegations that domestic workers were ill-treated in Dublin will be investigated further

UAE recalls Irish ambassador amid staff mistreatment claims

The UAE has recalled its ambassador to Ireland to Abu Dhabi after a tribunal awarded three workers employed at his house in Dublin $99,785 each for constructive dismissal.

The Irish Employment Appeals Tribunal heard how the three Filipina workers were forced to work 15 hours a day, seven days a week for $212 per month. Always on call, they also had their passports taken away from them.

In a statement, the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said: "The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of the decision of Ireland's Employment Appeals Tribunal in a case involving the alleged ill-treatment of domestic staff by the UAE Ambassador to Ireland and his family.

"The UAE takes this matter seriously, and accordingly has decided to recall him to Abu Dhabi while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs investigates the issue further, in line with existing procedures."

The three women, Myra Calderon, Laylanie Lapanga and Jennifer Vilaranda, took the case against the UAE ambassador, Khalid Nasser Rashed Lootah, and his wife, Mehra Metad Alghubaisi.

Reports in Ireland said the three workers were hired through a recruitment agency, and had previously worked for the ambassador in the UAE, before travelling to Ireland with his family in 2011.

In her ruling, Tribunal chairwoman Niamh O’Carroll Kelly said if the women were earning the Irish minimum wage, working the same hours, they would have been paid $58,000 each.

Virginija Petrauskaite, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland Legal Officer, who has been working with the three women since 2011, was quoted as saying: “It validates the rights of the women subjected to these appalling conditions."

Non-Muslim 5 years ago

Very good ruling by the Irish Court.
Passports taken away? What may still be SOP in the Gulf, does not work in Europe.

Dr. Neil Collins 5 years ago

Thank you to the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, and to Niamh O'Carroll Kelly. The UAE ambassador is not the only diplomat to sin in this way. I hope Ireland's hands are clean. Dr. Neil Collins

Mohamad 5 years ago

This is typical of maids etc in the Middle East they work long hours etc it reall is modern slavery
It's not just UAE but kuwait Saudi etc and is a shame on the Nationals as they see them as servants not humans
It's time to stop and pay them a minimum wage

SA1 5 years ago

Though this is good news in this case, and highlights the fair laws of Europe, it is all not roses for women in Europe, where human trafficking is a huge issue, and most of these women from east Europe especially are living in slavery, of course with passports taken.

Donny Gall 5 years ago

Excellent news for the abused maids in question and I hope the UAE Government will now pay the compensation awards without delay.

The Ambassador has brought shame on the UAE acting in the way he appears to have done so in a country like Ireland which is especially attuned to such abuse given the long history of its own people having to leave the country for low paid jobs abroad.

I note the ambassador previously used diplomatic privilege to wriggle out of a previous finding of abuse. He must be kicked out of the diplomatic service. What hope of course do domestic servants have in the UAE when the country's ambassador acts in this way?

Free Humans 5 years ago

Stop slaving for people please....Min wages and specific work hours are min human rights....Thank You Ireland...What about Qatar and people slaving there????

Ghanem 5 years ago

Cmon ...these maids were working in same conditions with the same salaries since 2011 without any complains , they get to work for an ambassador with all the benefits , they get to travel around and of course they get more money than their salary ($212) .. but the filipinas got greedy when they opened their eyes on what they (Could've) earned if they had the minimum wage of the country they are in now (Ireland) . All I can see is greedy Filipinos who bite the hand that fed them . quick cash ..

john barnes 5 years ago

The Housemaid in my villa opposite to mine, is cleaning the car twice a day- am afraid all the paint may wear off.
The minute she takes a rest including a Friday , her Pakistani female employer finds a ridiclious task for her.
Most Indians and Pakistanis need to realise that they are not back home, but in UAE where rules apply. So if you work them more and pay less be prepared to pay more.

Morever most of these employers could do with some washing and doing some washing themselves

SA1 5 years ago

Hope you would apply that logic to yourself....and draw Egypt based salary while working in UAE.

Jdxb 5 years ago

john barnes has unnecessarily dragged in two nationalities into this issues - totally uncalled for ! We all see his countrymen do worse & just ignore them.