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Alan: New UAE law big boost for Pinoy workers

THE Philippines welcomed yeaterday a new law approved by the United Arab Emirates that would guarantee
better conditions for hundreds of Filipino household service workers there.

“We would like to express our gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa for this kind gesture
that would benefit hundreds of Filipinos working as domestic helpers in the UAE,” Foreign Affairs
Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in a statement from Washington DC where he is on an official
visit.
    
The new law, which was approved by UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, provides domestic
workers with, among others, a daily rest period of at least eight consecutive hours, regular weekly day
off, 30 days paid annual leave, and the right to retain personal documents.
    
According to Ambassador to Abu Dhabi Constancio Vingno, Jr., the new law on domestic workers
will benefit an estimated 120,000 of the 618,000 Filipinos working in the UAE.
    
Vingno said the new law contains the following provisions:)
    
• Payment of wages, as set out in the standard contract, within ten days from the day they are
due;
    
• One day of paid rest per week;
    
• Twelve hours of rest per day, including eight hours of consecutive rest;
    
• Medical insurance provided by the employer;
    
• Thirty days medical leave per year;
    
• Round-trip home ticket every two years;
    
• Decent accommodation;
    
• Decent meals at employer’s expense;
    
• Clothing, if required by the employer, at the employer’s expense; and
    
• Possession of their personal identification papers such as passports, IDs.
    
The law would cover Filipinos and other migrant workers in the UAE who are employed as
housemaids, watchmen and security guards, chauffeurs, domestic laborers, housekeepers, private coaches,
private teachers, babysitters, and private nurses, among others.
    
It will take effect two months after it is published in the UAE’s Official Gazette.
    
Hiring of anyone under the age of 18 and assignment of tasks that are not covered under the
contract are also prohibited.