Bahrain implements new rule for house maids
Manama, October 2, 2007
New restrictions to protect Indian workers from rogue employers and agents in Bahrain came into force yesterday (October 1).
The restrictions include a minimum wage of BD100 ($378) a month, said a report in our sister publication Gulf Daily News.
'The regulations will initially be applicable to all housemaids in Bahrain, but will be expanded to all other sections of workers in due course,' an Indian Embassy official said.
'We have received an official communication from the Indian government which says no housemaid will be allowed to come for wages less than BD100.
'In addition, the new rules also stipulate that the employer will have to provide a mobile phone to the housemaid, so that she can stay in touch with her family and the outside world.'
The official said anyone wishing to recruit an Indian housemaid would have to go to the embassy with a contract which the maid would sign on arrival.
The regulations are part of overall efforts to protect workers in the Gulf. Ambassador Balkrishna Shetty said earlier that in the long-run, all Indians recruited for jobs in the Gulf and their employers will have to sign contracts attested by the respective missions.
He said rogue agents back in India would also face prosecution under the new regulations.
Shetty said the rules had been deliberated during a two-day conference of envoys, held in New Delhi. The meeting was presided over by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi.
Shetty said the model contract would specify basic monthly salary, hours of work, overtime pay, salary payment by cheque, termination of contract including clause on termination by employee and employer and free transportation and medical check-up for the worker.
It will then have to be attested by the Indian missions in the respective countries.
Migrant Workers Protection Committee action committee head Marietta Dias said the move was welcome.
'We shall be watching it very closely and we hope it has the desired effect,' she said.- TradeArabia News Service