Decent pay, sick leave and time off are the right of all domestic staff, conference told
SHARJAH // Cleaners, nannies and maids must be paid a decent wage, have one day off a week, annual holidays and 30 days sick leave a year under the UAE’s labour law, officials have said.
Domestic staff are entitled to the same basic rights as any other worker and authorities are doing everything in their power to protect these rights, said Lamya Rahman, a researcher with the Sharjah Department of Residency and Foreign affairs.
“Domestic workers also have the right to keep their own passports,” Ms Rahman said.
“We are reaching out to embassies as well as printing brochures in several languages to help domestic workers, especially house maids, know their rights in the homes they are working.”
Authorities are also carrying out surprise inspections at recruitment companies as well as homes where domestic staff work to ensure these rights are being observed, said Ms Rahman. She was speaking at a Sharjah police conference as part of Arab Human Rights Day.
The rights of prisoners serving time in the UAE’s jails was addressed by First Lt Maniea Al Naqbi, who presented a paper on the rights of inmates in Sharjah.
“We changed the name of prisoners to inmates because of its bad taste and stigma it carried to the inmates and their families,” said Lt Al Naqbi.
He said inmates in the emirate had access to health care, including dental care provided by charities. They were also entitled to freedom of worship, as well as access to education and good-quality meals, with special dishes prepared for diabetics.
Brig Abdullah Al Dukhan, the deputy commander in chief of Sharjah Police, said the objective of Arab Human Rights Day was to boost and preserve the dignity and rights of all human beings in Arab countries.
“We wish to affirm our commitment on this day to the refusal of all kinds of discrimination based on religion, race or ethnicity in all our countries,” he said. “God has created all men as equal regardless of their differences.”
Updated: March 16, 2014 04:00 AM