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Employing a household worker: Your Rights and Responsibilities

On March 22, 2017


If you plan to employ a domestic worker, you may not realise the responsibilities that you have to each other.  This video offers employment tips, with a spotlight on communication, setting expectations ground kills, and respecting a domestic worker’s privacy.

A few things the video asks you to consider:

  • Have you determined the specific role and responsibility for a domestic worker: Are they a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, a gardener, or a caregiver?
  • Are you comfortable with the communication between you and her so far?
  • Does the domestic worker understand the contract signed between you and the agent?

And a few things the video suggests:

  • Create a separate contract between you and the domestic worker, which clearly outlines expectations and ground rules
  • Establish a timesheet to guide the domestic worker, and agree upon the number of hours in her working day. Consider how she can socialise on her weekly day off
  • Set guidelines for phone and internet usage. Clarify that it's best not to use the phone during working hours unless its an emergency - but remember that she is far away from her family, and will want to communicate freely with them.
  • Make sure she has a private room with basic amenities and a secure place to store her valuables, especially her passport.
  • Discuss with her best way to receive her salary regularly (i.e. cash or bank transfer)
  • Remember that she likely comes from a different cultural and social environment, and may have different food habits and mannerisms. Make sure to understand her culture, and understand that adjustments will need to made between the both of you.

For an even more in-depth look at employing domestic workers, see our employer’s guide here.  The present version of the employer’s guide is tailored towards Qatar’s labour laws, but offers useful information and tools for employers across the Gulf.