“All I said was that the employer was entitled to keep the servant’s passport, and that many Kuwaitis and Gulf nationals agreed with me,” Al Qattan said.
Al Qattan had sparked outrage for saying that Filipino domestic workers should not be given a day off and that employers should be the ones to hold on to their passports.
“The servant lives in the house just like the owners, she eats the same food, sleeps, rests and goes out shopping, this is a natural right. She is not like a waiter who works fixed hours; we give her weekly leave,” she said.
A Philippine NGO has called on the Philippine government to ban Al-Qattan permanently from hiring Filipino domestic workers. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said that it will not allow employers to hire domestic workers if they do not comply with the laws intended to protect the migrant workers.
In May, the Philippines and Kuwait signed the Agreement on the Employment of Domestic Workers. It aims to ensure the protection of Filipino domestic workers in the country. Under the agreement, employers are not allowed to keep their domestic workers’ passports and other travel and work documents.