Nepal issues rules for Gulf-bound domestic helpers

January 5, 2011

Nepalese domestic helpers in Qatar are to get a minimum basic salary QR1,000 ($275) under new rules put forth by the Nepalese embassy in Doha to protect them from harassment and exploitation.

The embassy took the initiative and other related measures following the Nepal government’s directive to Nepalese missions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to follow new safety guidelines for women domestic workers.

Nepal had lifted a 12-year ban on women working as domestic help in the Gulf, in December last year.

The Nepalese embassy in Doha held several meetings with community members and representatives of recruiting agencies to ensure the effective implementation of the new guidelines, Qatar Tribune reported on Wednesday.

Under the new rules, any sponsor or recruitment agency hiring a Nepalese woman as a domestic helper will have to assure the embassy that they will provide visa without taking any money, a free air ticket, security, accommodation, food, health insurance and a minimum basic salary of QR1,000.

The new provisions also call for a mandatory deposit of a refundable amount of QR4,000 by the employer to the embassy during the demand attestation.

Any agency or employer failing to comply with the new provisions will not get the permission to hire a Nepalese female domestic worker.

The new guidelines also stipulate that a compulsory air-ticket from Kathmandu must be provided to the domestic workers.

A two-month paid leave should be given to the worker after the completion of two years of service.

“The new guidelines stipulate that only employers who are married can hire a female domestic worker,” Surya Nath Mishra, Nepal’s Ambassador to Qatar, told the daily.

“In Nepal, only the specialised outsourcing agencies will be given the permission to send workers to Qatar.”

The rules stipulate that the Nepalese women must be over 30 in order to be allowed to work as domestic helpers in the Gulf.

“Before their departure from Nepal, the workers will have to attend an orientation programme where information about the embassy and its contact numbers will be provided,” the ambassador said.

The information about the employer and employee must be registered with the Nepalese mission within two months of the arrival of the domestic workers.

The rules restrict the sponsor from shifting the domestic help to a new employer and the employer who plans to take the worker out of the country must provide prior information about the overseas travel and the their whereabouts to the mission.

“The new guidelines will help in ensuring the safety and rights of the Nepalese women domestic workers and discourage illegal migration to Gulf countries,” the ambassador said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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