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Shoura Council approves Philippines labor agreement
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 07 - 05 - 2014


Saudi Gazette report


RIYADH – The Shoura Council approved on Tuesday the draft agreement on domestic workers that was signed between the Ministry of Labor and the Philippines' Ministry of Labor and Employment. The agreement, consisting of 10 articles, aims at regulating the contractual relationship between Filipino household service workers (HSWs) and their Saudi employers in addition to protecting the rights and interests of both the parties.
Muhammad Al-Naji, chairman of the Shoura committee for administration and human resources, read out the draft agreement at the session, which was chaired by its President Sheikh Abdullah Al-Asheikh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Senior officials of both the ministries signed the bilateral agreement on 19 May, 2013 in Jeddah. The agreement reinforced the Standard Employment Contract, which both countries had agreed in 2012. The Contract recognizes, among others, the SR1,500 minimum entry-level salary, weekly rest days and daily rest periods, paid vacation leave, non-withholding of passports and work permits, free communication, and humane treatment. The agreement requires that the Kingdom be responsible for the authenticity of the employment contract, opening of a bank account in the name of the domestic worker, a 24-hour mechanism for domestic workers' assistance, the expeditious settlement of labor contract violation cases, and facilitation of exit visas for repatriation upon contract completion or during emergency situations.
For the Philippine government, the responsibilities include ensuring that workers are qualified and medically fit with no derogatory record, and verification of all employment contracts submitted by Saudi recruitment offices.In October 2012, the Kingdom had agreed to lift the ban on Philippine HSWs. The ban was imposed in June the previous year. As of last year, there were an estimated 670,000 overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia, but only around nine percent of them, or 60,000, are HSWs.


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