Attestation of work contracts to be made mandatory

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New Delhi, Sep 11 (UNI) Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) Ministry today decided to make it mandatory for all work contracts to be attested by the Indian missions.

A two-day Conference of Heads of Indian Missions discussed the problems relating to labour contracts in detail and finalised a model contract specifying the terms and conditions such as basic monthly salary, hours of work, overtime pay, payment by cheque, termination of contract, including clause of termination by employee and employers respectively, free transportation and free medical check up.

The Model contract will be applied with necessary country specific modifications for all the countries, OIA Minister Vayalar Ravi told mediapersons after the 2nd annual conference which was attended by Heads of Indian Missions of six GCC countries, besides Malaysia, Jordan, Libya and Yemen.

Mr Ravi said a minimum level of Policy Coherence was reached and appropriate institutional arrangements established to ensure bench marked standards of living and working conditions for Overseas Indian Workers in all major destination countries.

The meeting, which ended today, approved a package of policy measures for the protection and welfare of women emigrants. This includes: specifying a minimum wage, a 24x7 help line, establishing shelters for runaway maids, legal assistance and health care support. These measures would be channelled through overseas workers resource centres to be outsourced.

Mr Ravi said the Joint working groups will be activated to address the problems and concerns of emigrant workers in all major labour receiving countries. These groups would meet twice a year alternately in the home and host countries.

For onsite welfare measures and community-based services, the generic model of Indian Community Welfare Fund operated by Kuwait, Oman and KSA will be replicated in other countries. MOIA will provide funding support in addition to a small part of the consular charges being utilised for the purpose.

A regular grievance redressal mechanism with periodic reviews with the local government would be devised and made operational.

A national pre-departure orientation and skill upgradation programme will be stated to help the potential emigrant workers move up the wage chain and benefit from the emerging job opportunities.

Heads of missions will identify sectors that should be targeted and skill sets that should be built based on the local demand.

The meeting decided to negotiate and sign bilateral MOUs for the protection and welfare of Overseas Indian workers with all the GCC and other major labour receiving countries.

UNI

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