MANILA — The Philippine government on Wednesday welcomed a new law approved by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that would guarantee better conditions for over 100,000 Filipino household service workers there.
“We would like to express our gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa for this kind gesture that would benefit hundreds of Filipinos working as domestic helpers in the UAE,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in a statement from Washington DC where he is on an official visit.
The new law, which was approved by UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, provides domestic workers with, among others, a daily rest period of at least eight consecutive hours, regular weekly day off, 30 days paid annual leave, and the right to retain personal documents.
Ambassador to Abu Dhabi Constancio Vingno, Jr. said the new law on domestic workers will benefit an estimated 120,000 of the 618,000 Filipinos working in the UAE.
The law would cover Filipinos and other migrant workers in the UAE who are employed as housemaids, watchmen and security guards, chauffeurs, domestic laborers, housekeepers, private coaches, private teachers, babysitters, and private nurses, among others.
The law, which will take effect two months after it is published in the UAE’s Official Gazette, prohibits the hiring of anyone under the age of 18 and assignment of tasks that are not covered under the contract.