Kuwait Times survey found 78% of Filipino housemaids without a weekly day off

A recent social media controversy in Kuwait stirred up regarding the working week of domestic helpers in Kuwait. The reality is that the vast majority of domestic workers do not get a weekly day off, despite the legal requirement to do so.
In an informal survey conducted by Kuwait Times with more than 200 Filipino domestic helpers, it was  found that around 78 percent do not get a day off work each week. The survey confirms that a majority of employers do not follow the domestic labor law, limiting their adult employees freedom and basic working rights.

A memorandum of agreement (MoA) was signed between the Philippines and Kuwait in May detailing working hours and days off that were specifically requested by the Filipino president in exchange for lifting a temporary ban he had imposed on sending Filipino workers in Kuwait. However, two months after the signing of the MoA, more than two-thirds of Filipina housemaids still do not get a weekly day off from work.

Sponsors often treat domestic helpers, especially younger women from the Philippines, like little more than children. Though these women are legal adults and given huge responsibilities including the care and feeding of children, they are not permitted to leave the sponsors’ homes without chaperones.-K.T.

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