Kuwait’s Interior Ministry has reportedly announced the implementation of a minimum wage for maids, private drivers, babysitters and cooks, the first to be introduced in the country.
Under the decision, which sets bylaws affecting hundreds of thousands of domestic workers, the minimum wage will be set at KD 60 ($198.54) a month, according to Kuwait Times.
This follows a law passed by the country’s assembly last year limiting domestic workers to an eight-hour workday, granting them a mandatory weekend and 30 days of annual leave.
In addition, workers will be able to demand overtime pay and are entitled to an end of service payment equivalent to a month’s wages for each year worked.
The legislation states that workers must be aged between 20 and 50 years old and places limits on the number of maids a family can employ – one for a family of four, two for a family of five-to-eight and three for a family of eight and above.
The ministry has also set restrictions on offices recruiting workers from overseas, mandating that they submit a two-year bank guarantee of KD 40,000 ($132,358).
This will allow the settling of disputes between workers, their employers or offices, which are required to provide an employment contract for each worker, according to the publication.
The Interior Ministry’s domestic helpers department has been given the power to resolve disputes within three months.
Another law passed by the assembly stipulated that a shareholding company company be set up to recruit domestic helpers.
Under the law, 60 per cent of the proposed company’s shares would be given to the union of cooperative societies and 10 per cent each to Kuwait Investment Authority, the Public Institution for Social Security, Public Authority for Minors Affairs and Kuwait Airways.
Kuwait Times said there were 600,000 domestic helpers in the country, the majority from Asian countries.