A social media influencer recently portrayed to her followers her dismissal of what she called new regulations for domestic workers of a certain nationality, when in reality these regulations have been there for a while. She was disappointed that she had to give domestic workers a day off every week by law.
I have said this so many times before, and will say it again now – the laws in Kuwait are fair towards employees, whether domestic workers or private sector ones, but some people have this mindset that these employees are in our homes because they are ‘slaves’. As frustrating as her comment was, what was more frustrating was to see the people’s reactions – many people responded by agreeing with her.
Domestic workers should be seen as any other employees when it comes to their rights. They are humans who have goals and aspirations, and although they may seem unfortunate to some of us because they are doing such a job, it is their right to work and we should all respect their hard work and the fact that they left their homes to earn money.
Question: I am a domestic worker and I want to know what rights I have. Can you please explain, because I am told I have no rights.
Fajer: You have many rights as a worker – the main ones are as follows:
1. An hour-long break after 5 hours of work.
2. Not more than 12 hours of work a day.
3. A day off a week.
4. You have the right to keep your passport.
5. The right to leave the house on your day off (you should never be locked in).
6. The right to change jobs when your contract ends or to leave to work for another employer.
7. The right to receive your salary on time, and many more.
If you have any issues, contact your embassy.
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By Attorney Fajer Ahmed