Rabat- Law 19-12 on domestic employees working conditions will go into effect on October 2.
The new law will require employers to have written contracts ensuring the workers’ rights by limiting their working hours to 40 hours per week for minors aged 16-18 and 48 hours for adults.
The employers may choose between a fixed-term or indefinite term contract.
The indefinite term contract must be certified in three copies: one for the employer, one for the employee, and one for the labor inspector to examine its compatibility with the law. The law does not mention part-time domestic workers.
Domestic workers with contracts will be entitled to benefits from the National Social Security Fund (CNSS), one day of rest per week, and a net salary of MAD 13.46 per hour, amounting to MAD 1,548 per month.
Housing and food cannot be deducted from the salary.
After six months of continuous work, domestic workers have the right to paid leave, 1.5 days for each month of their service, and days off during public holidays.
Employees who restart their work after pregnancy and childbirth will be entitled to, in addition to the weekly day off, one hour of daily rest for 12 consecutive months. If the employee is deprived of their resting days, the employer will face a fine of MAD 500 to MAD 2,000.
If employers do not respect the contract, employers will pay a fine ranging from MAD 3,000 to MAD 5,000.
The contract must include a clear statement from the employee, indicating his or her desire to perform domestic work on behalf of the employer.
If employers force a person to work for them, they will face a fine of MAD 25,000 to MAD 30,000 and a prison sentence from one to three months for a repeated offense.
Employment of minors
According to the law, employing minors 16 to 18 will not be permitted to work until five years after the implementation of the law.
Minors will be prohibited from performing life-threatening tasks such as working at great heights; handling chemical products, electrical equipment, or gardening equipment; cleaning fireplaces and water heaters; driving a vehicle on behalf of the employee; or serving an employee with a contagious disease.
Underage workers must undergo a medical examination every six months. Children below the age of 15 are not allowed to work, according to Article 143 of the 2004 Code of Work.
Based on national child labor statistics, of the current 247,000 working children in the country, 162,000 (2.3 percent) carry out life-threatening day to day tasks in agriculture, construction, mining, forestry, handicrafts, and fishing.
Child labour in Morocco sharply decreased from 517,000 children working in 1990 to 247,000 in 2017, according to data from the High Commission for Planning (HCP).
A law to end mistreatment of domestic workers
The law, adopted by the House of Representatives July 26, 2016, seeks to protect domestic workers from exploitation in underpayment and physical and verbal abuse.
In addition to being deprived of an education, many domestic workers as young as 8 work overtime and are not fed adequately.
According to the international organization Human Rights Watch, some girls complained that their employers beat them with belts, wooden sticks, shoes, or plastic pipes.
Some of them worked for more than 100 hours a week. Their average salary was as low as MAD 545 per month, according to the organization.
“This new law is groundbreaking for domestic workers in Morocco, so many of whom have been exploited and abused,” said Middle East and North Africa communications and advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, Ahmed Benchemsi, when Morocco first introduced the law in 2016.