Domestic help offices challenge law in court
KUWAIT: A lawyer has claimed that some items of law 68/2015 regarding domestic helpers are unconstitutional, adding that there are many defects in the law, and filed a case at the constitutional court. Faisal Al-Enezi was speaking during the ‘domestic help’ conference in the presence of a large number of domestic help office owners. He said there are several items in the law that will harm office owners and take away their rights.
Enezi went over the items he believes are unconstitutional, saying that article 3, item 2, which speaks about the condition of issuance and renewing licenses of bringing domestic help from abroad, says owners should have a general secondary certificate, be fit and should not have a handicap that keeps them from working. He said this article is unjust, especially that there are offices with financial deposits, translators and many companies have owners without degrees.
Enezi said although the law has been issued, no new license was issued for those who meet the conditions, adding that there is a mystery in this issue and domestic help office owners are targeted to monopolize this profession by one company. He said if this unconstitutional law is implemented with its unfair articles, licenses of many offices will be revoked, and the cost of bringing in a maid will reach KD 2,500, adding that the explanatory memo of the law did not clarify the reason behind requiring to have a general secondary certificate.
Enezi said many MPs, since the Assembly was established, do not have a general secondary certificate, and the candidacy conditions do not include a school certificate, only that the candidate should be able to read and write, and they have the trust of legislating laws.
Meanwhile, former director of the domestic help offices union Hashim Majid said law 68/2015 has several unfair items against domestic help office owners and citizens, while it caters to domestic helpers only to appease human rights organizations, and is not complete and fair to all. He said the new condition in the new law - the secondary school certificate - is unconstitutional, as the legislators made it retroactive to issue new licenses or renew old ones, and this also is a violation of the rights of license owners because it threatens to revoke many licenses.
Majid spoke about another item, which is the increase of the probation period of domestic helpers to six months instead of the previous 100 days, which makes office owners incur losses. He said the guarantee includes being unhealthy, pregnancy, security restrictions and absconding, and the problem is in escaping, as workers escape to the embassies of their countries, and in this case the office should not pay anything to their sponsors or their tickets back home.
The government approved that the process of compensating Wafra farm owners whose properties will be removed to make way for the GCC railway project, and who will be paid cash compensations for licensed buildings and plants. Farm owners will not be given alternate lands, as the farmlands are considered state property.