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Limit on expats stay ‘opposes’ employers interests: Al-Dosari
 Tue, 25 Nov 2014
 
  KUWAIT CITY : Director of Public Authority for Manpower Jamal Al-Dosari confirmed that GCC countries have no intention to reduce the number of expatriate personnel, and the proposal of stipulating the period of stay for expatriates in the country opposes the interests of employers. He disclosed this on the sideline of the just-concluded GCC Undersecretaries of Social Affairs and Labor meeting, noting the meeting did not shed light on the proposal of specifying the period of stay for expatriates at all.

On the approval of the Parliamentary Legislative Affairs Committee of four draft laws, among them specifying the residency period of expatriates in the country as five years for low-earners, without renewing it, Al-Dosari said the authority will be summoned by the committee to discuss the proposal which was earlier discussed by the GCC Secretariat- General, in addition to the commendations put forward in that concern. He added the employers submitted their arguments on the proposal and the decision should be left in the hands of employers.

He further disclosed that the most prominent items of the unified GCC pact of domestic workers which GCC countries seek to apply is the right of the worker to leave, reducing the number of working hours by 8 hours daily with two hours overtime, and providing appropriate accommodation for the workers. The pact also bars employers from keeping the passport of domestic personnel, while the domestic worker should be allowed to move around freely beyond the confines of the employer’s house.

The employer is also obliged to provide a ticket if the domestic worker decides to return to the home country for good. He further indicated Labor Relations Department at Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor or Domestic Personnel Department at Ministry of Interior as the specialized department to receive labor complaints. “The blueprint of the contract provides for the right to leave, sets the daily working hours at six and paid overtime at two hours, and requires provision of decent dwelling,” he told reporters following the meeting. “It bans employers from holding the passports of employees, ensures the freedom of housemaids to move or live outside the home of employer or travel at any time, and commits employers to furnish their housemaids with air ticket in case final termination of their contract,” Al-Dosari revealed.

Contract
The single contract will take forces after being approved by the GCC labor ministers, he said. Kuwait’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has a department concerned with the employer-worker relationship that addresses any complaints or disputes between both sides, while the Interior Ministry has a department to address the problems of housemaids. In collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has launched a building to house housemaids which is one of the best specialized centers in the Middle East, Al-Dosari stated.

On Kuwait’s civil sector labor law No. 6/2010, Al-Dosari said its fifth article entitles the minister of interior to decree regulations for foreign workers. He added that director of the residency affairs department of Kuwait Talal Marafi suggested cancellation of the bank guarantee for worker sending countries, set at $ 2,500, with a view to facilitating the movement of labor.

The suggestion was welcomed by all participants in the just-ended meeting who also discussed the measures being taken to facilitate the movement of national workforce among the GCC countries and promote the employment of youth and women’s access to jobs, Al- Dosari went on.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary of the Bahraini Ministry of Labor Sabah Al- Dosari called on any foreign labor organizations or human rights agencies that could have any negative observations on situations of labors to present these observations to the concerned GCC country or raise them to the World Labor Organization. “We in the GCC countries welcome the foreign workers and appreciate their contributions to the development of our countries,” he added.

 
 
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