The UAE’s Federal National Council (FNC) has passed a draft law to protect the rights of domestic workers in the country.
The bill was approved after a six-hour debate that began late on Tuesday night, The National reported.
It calls for better working conditions for domestic workers including giving them a weekly day off – when they should be allowed to leave the house, granting them paid leave for 30 days, and providing them at least 12 hours off duty a day, including eight consecutive hours.
Domestic workers will also have the right to keep their personal documents including passport, ID card and work permit.
According to reports, the law also aims to shield them from physical and verbal abuse and human trafficking.
Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, told the FNC that the new bill aims to bring working conditions for domestic workers in line with international standards.
The bill will also send a message that the country ensures the rights of workers, The National quoted FNC member Saeed Al Mutawa as saying.
“Every human has the right to go out, this is not prison. This should not be negotiated,” he said. He said all of the rights in the bill would be in employees’ contracts and “guaranteed by law”.
The new bill requires final approval by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to become law.