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Weekend day off approved for domestic workers
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 07 - 06 - 2013

Majed Al-Mufadhili
Okaz/Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH – The Ministry of Labor has approved a weekend day off system for domestic workers including controls for domestic work, privileges and rights for the male and female worker and employer, organizing payment of salaries, opening bank accounts and not allowing the female domestic worker to go out alone during her weekend day off.
The options available to the female employee are that she either commits to go out with the family for recreation during the weekend off or she stays home alone.
Sources told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the regulation aims to protect domestic workers' rights and those of the employer, as it imposes conditions that the employer must comply with if the domestic helps work during the weekend day off.
Most prominent among these is the consent of the housemaid or the driver to the employers of working during the weekend day off, specifying the wage and documenting it in the work contract between the two parties.
The regulation makes it compulsory for the employer and domestic worker to open a bank account in which the worker's salary is deposited monthly.
This is meant to stop labor cases and charges of not receiving salaries. Bank statements will be relied on to confirm whether the worker has received his/her salary or not.
The sources said, “The Ministry of Labor has made sure to regulate all controls organizing the work of domestic helps and drivers through direct negotiations with the countries that allow recruitment of workers such that the domestic helps are well aware of the work regulations by acquainting them with the controls before their arrival in the Kingdom.
“Signing of work contracts will protect their rights and in order to prevent any violations or interpretations by the workers or employer.”
Meanwhile, Saad Al-Baddah, Chairman of the National Committee for Recruitment, told Okaz/Saudi Gazette, “Approval of the domestic workers' regulation is an important development so as to organize the work contracts between the domestic worker and the employer.”
He added, “The regulation allows the domestic helps or drivers to enjoy their weekend day off and gives then three choices – to work during the weekend day off and get extra pay that is specified in the contract, enjoy the weekend day off and stay at home or go out with the family.”

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