x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE supports treaty for better working conditions

The UAE has voted to improve the working and living conditions of domestic workers worldwide.

Strict rules to battle fraud and abuse by employment agencies are set out in an international treaty backed by the UAE.

Three delegates from the Emirates voted for the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers in June, while a fourth delegate, who was representing employers, abstained.

The treaty was drawn up by the UN's International Labour Organization (ILO) to improve working and living conditions.

It is designed to give such workers the same level of legal protection as other employees, stipulating a maximum six-day workweek and setting accommodation and privacy standards for live-in staff.

The next step is for the UAE and other countries to bring their laws into line with the convention before ratifying the treaty.

Martin Oelz, the ILO's legal specialist on working conditions, said: "The UAE and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council have played an active and constructive role in the negotiations of the convention and have voiced their support for the instruments.

"More generally, the Gulf states have expressed at the ILO conference last June their commitment to achieving decent work for domestic workers."

csimpson@thenational.ae