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End-of-service Gratuity for Domestic Workers in the GCC

Domestic workers in every GCC country except for Oman are owed end-of-service benefits at the conclusion of their work contract. This short brief compares the entitlements throughout the region.

On March 11, 2020

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Across the GCC states, the protections and provisions for domestic workers are weaker than those of other private-sector workers who fall under the labour law. Due to their exclusion from labour laws and the common perception that domestic work is not ‘real work,’ employers and workers alike lack awareness of the due entitlements.  A 2018 survey by the Kuwait Society for Human Rights (KSHR) revealed that 62.2% of employers and 71.59% of domestic workers were not aware of the existence of a domestic worker’s law at all, even though more than three years had passed since the law was issued. 

One critical provision that is often overlooked is domestic workers’ end-of-service benefits.  While domestic workers are entitled to less than other private-sector workers, they are nonetheless guaranteed a gratuity in each country except for Oman. Oman is the only GCC country which has neither a domestic worker’s law nor incorporated domestic workers into their labour law.  In Bahrain, the labour law is partially extended to domestic workers and provides for some of the same end-of-service entitlements as other workers.

It is important for pre-employment orientations and awareness campaigns to highlight the right to end-of-service benefits, and explain how to calculate it. For example, a domestic worker in Bahrain who has worked for 8 years with an employer with a salary of 100 BD (USD 265) per month is entitled to 650 BD ( USD 1,725) at the end of their service. 

Below is a comparison of the end-of-service gratuity for domestic workers in each of the GCC countries:

Country Entitlement Law
Bahrain The worker shall be entitled upon the termination of his/her contract to a reward equivalent to the wage of half a month for each year of service for the first three years and the wage of one month for each subsequent year. The worker shall be entitled to a reward for the fraction of a year pro-rata the period of service he/she spent with the employer Article 116 of Bahrain’s 2012 Labour Law
Saudi Arabia Domestic workers are entitled to one month's wage if he or she has spent four consecutive years with the same employer Article 16 of Decision No.310 of 1434 on Domestic Workers
Kuwait Domestic workers are entitled to one month’s wage for each year of work at the end of the work contract. Law No. 68 of 2015 on Employment of Domestic Workers

The worker, who completes one year or more of continuous service, shall, at the end of his/her service be entitled to an end-of-service compensation. Unpaid days of absence from work shall enter into the calculation of the end-of-service compensation. The compensation shall be calculated on the basis of 14-day wages for each year of service and becomes due upon the termination of the contract. The calculation of the compensation resumes upon the renewal of the contract.

The worker shall be entitled to a compensation for the portion of time worked during the last year of employment on a pro-rata basis provided the worker has completed no less than one full year of continuous employment. 

Article 26 Federal Law no. 10 of 2017 On Domestic Workers

An employer shall be responsible for paying the end of serve bonus to a domestic worker who spent at least one year in service as of the date on which the law entered in force, at the end of service, in addition to any other entitlements. This bonus shall be determined in agreement between both parties provided it shall be at least a three-week wage for each year spent in service.

A domestic worker shall be entitled to fractions of the year multiplied by the period spent in service. An employer shall be entitled to deduct from the bonus the sums which are owed to him/her by the worker

An employer shall be entitled to deduct from the bonus the sums which are owed to him/her by the worker.

Section 15 of Qatar Law No. 15 of 2017 concerning Domestic Workers
Oman No Law to stipulate end of service gratuity for domestic workers -