By Roy C. Mabasa
Qatar has enacted a new employment law that would provide better protection to the more than 50,000 Filipino household service workers in the Gulf state.
According to Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola, the coverage of Qatar’s new “Domestic Employment Law” has been expanded to now also cover household service workers and provides them with some degree of legal protections.
Undersecretary Arriola said that under the new law, household service workers are now allowed to work for only 10 hours per day, six days a week and are entitled to annual vacations, paid sick leaves, and guaranteed breaks for meals and worship.
“This is certainly a cause for celebration as this new law would benefit more than 50,000 Filipino household service workers who did not enjoy these benefits before,” Undersecretary Arriola said.
Philippine Ambassador to Doha Alan Timbayan said there are approximately 246,000 overseas Filipino workers in Qatar, making the Philippines the third country origin of migrant workers in Doha.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano welcomed this new development in Qatar.
“We thank and commend the government of Qatar for enacting this progressive legislation,” Secretary Cayetano said. “This will certainly lead to the recognition, promotion, and protection of the rights of Filipino and other migrant household service workers in Qatar.”