ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday accorded permission to move a private member bill by Senator Osman Saifullah Khan for the rights of domestic workers to ensure their security and safety and provide better working environment for them.
The bill that will be called the Domestic Workers (Employment Rights) Act 2013, carries elaborate provisions to age restrictions, free labour, contract signing, minimum wages, social security measures and formation of association or trade union.
According to proposed rights and entitlements of domestic workers as mentioned in the bill, there age shall be between 14 to 60 years; they will not be employed in forced or bonded labour; shall not be discriminated in recruitment, wages and other benefits; will have a written contract with employer containing specific terms like hours of work and suspension and termination; and they will have rights to minimum wages, overtime, job description and the employer shall ensure proper safety measures.
The bill further provides for having a written contract with terms and conditions describing about working hours, minimum wages, maternity leave, ordinary leave as well as performing their duties as per the contract.
The domestic workers shall be entitled to health and medical care, employment injury benefits, group insurance, housing, gratuity, bonus and pension benefits which shall be paid through the Domestic Workers Welfare Fund under the supervision of a Domestic Welfare Board as proposed in the Bill.
The bill provides that employer shall provide food and accommodation to workers while the government will ensure regular employment to domestic workers, timely payment of wages, conducive working conditions, medical facility, protective clothing and safety from physical and sexual exploitation.
The employer shall have to issue one month prior notice to domestic workers in case of their termination from service.
Under this bill, it has been proposed to set up a Dispute Resolution Committee and Appellate Authority to sort out all the rising issues between the employers and the domestic workers.
The mover of the bill said, there had been a need to ensure that the domestic workers are provided at least a minimum level of benefits and facilities and to regulate their terms of conditions of employment and treat them with honour and dignity.