Survey: Salaries for domestic helpers are going up in Qatar
Domestic workers in Qatar now earn on average US$450 (QR1,645) a month, up 4.4 percent from $431 (QR1,575) last year, according to a new survey by an online recruitment firm.
The report, published by HelperChoice, is compiled annually. This year, it analyzed some 2,000 job advertisements placed on the site between January and August.
The data showed that salaries across the region increased in 2017. Domestic workers in the UAE earned the highest average salary per month ($494), up 14 percent from $433 last year.
Qatar’s workers earn the second highest salaries in the GCC, the report said, followed by Saudi Arabia in third ($442) and Kuwait in fourth place ($419.)
The figures quoted are for salaries only, and do not include flights, medical care or other allowances, such as food or clothing.
Doha slips in city rankings
Notably, people living in Doha were willing to pay higher salaries than those living in Al Khor, according to the report.
Employers in Qatar’s capital paid QR1,612 ($461) on average, while those in the north offered QR1,411 ($386) a month.
Compared to other cities in the Gulf, Doha fell in the rankings this year, from second place to fourth.
Dubai took the top spot for best-paid domestic helpers, followed by Kuwait and Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, the lowest paid workers in the GCC are in Makkah, where they earn an average of $360 a month.
New domestic worker law
The apparent increase in average income for domestic workers in Qatar follows the passage of a new law to help protect the country’s home helpers.
Law No. 15 of 2017 states that newly-hired nannies, maids, drivers and gardeners must have a written contract with their employer.
Previously, these were not required, and this meant that they could not file complaints against their employers with the labor ministry.
The law also says that househelpers should have a maximum 10-hour day, during a maximum six-day week.
The legislation is historic in that no such caps were defined before.
However, this still means that a worker earning the average of QR1,645 a month makes about QR7 an hour in Qatar.