Labor protocol to protect Filipino workers
Philippines ready to lift its six-year ban on the deployment of domestic workers to Lebanon after signing labor cooperation agreement
The Ministry of Labor and the Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on labor cooperation, as well as a protocol for regulating the recruitment and employment of domestic workers.
The agreement stipulates the lifting of the existing ban on the deployment of Filipino household service workers to Lebanon. It urges both countries to ensure that the recruitment of Filipino domestic workers is done in accordance with the existing legal procedures in the two countries.
In 2006, the Philippines imposed a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Lebanon due to concerns of poor working conditions amid the absence of legal protection of domestic workers. The Lebanese labor law does not address migrant domestic workers. The Ministry of Labor estimates the number of migrant domestic workers to be around 140,000. According to the Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines, around 31,000 Filipinos work in Lebanon.
The new protocol outlines the specific measures that both countries shall undertake to ensure the rights and welfare of domestic workers. It also specifies the procedures that recruitment agencies must comply with in deploying Filipino domestic workers.
The agreement stipulates that the recruitment of Filipino domestic workers may be done only through Philippine recruitment agencies licensed for the purpose.
The protocol explains provisions on placement and other fees related to recruitment, qualifications of workers, minimum age, medical examination, working hours, and access to conflict resolution mechanisms and complaints procedures in Lebanon. Upon the new rules, employers shall open a bank account in the name of the domestic worker where her salary shall be deposited within seven days from the salary due date. According to the agreement, Filipino domestic workers shall have the right to keep in their passports and identity documents.
The protocol also stipulates that both Lebanon and the Philippines shall come up with a standard employment contract within 30 days upon the signing of the Protocol.
Date Posted: Feb 02, 2012