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3 Aug 2016

Human Rights Watch

Morocco: New Domestic Workers Law is a Significant Improvement but Fails to Guarantee Living Wage

Morocco: New Law Advances Domestic Workers’ Rights: Key Protections, but Significant Gaps Remain

(Tunis) – Morocco’s new law regulating work for domestic workers could help protect thousands of women and girls from exploitation and abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. The new law was adopted by the House of Representatives on July 26, 2016, and will go into effect one year after publication in the official gazette.

Human Rights Watch investigated conditions for child domestic workers – those under 18 – in Morocco in 2005 and 2012, finding that girls as young as 8 endured physical abuse and worked long hours for little pay... Before the adoption of the new law, domestic workers were excluded from Morocco’s labor law, leaving them no legal rights to a minimum wage, limits on their hours, and not even a weekly day of rest. The new law requires written contracts and sets 18 as the minimum age for domestic workers, with a phase-in period of five years during which girls between 16 and 18 are allowed to work. It limits working hours for 16- and 17-year-olds to 40 hours a week, and for adults to 48 hours a week, though Morocco’s labor law for other sectors sets the limit at 44 hours. It guarantees 24 continuous hours of weekly rest, and a minimum wage of 1542 dirhams (US$158) per month, 60 percent of the minimum wage for jobs covered under the country’s labor law. The law also provides for financial penalties for employers who violate the law.