In a move that could benefit thousands of Indians, Qatar has approved a law that will ensure that domestic workers do not work for more than 10 hours a day, AFP reported on Wednesday. The legislation was issued by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (pictured above) on Tuesday.

This is the first such protection for the thousands of household maids, nannies and cooks in the country. Other than domestic workers, the new law also includes cleaners, gardeners and drivers.

The Domestic Employment Law also ordered employers to pay wages to their staff at the end of each month. The domestic staff will also be entitled to at least one day off every week, and an annual leave of three weeks.

The law prohibits employers to hire staff from abroad who are younger than 18 years of age or older than 60. The staff will also earn benefits equating to a minimum of three weeks’ wages for each year of service at the end of their contract.

The move is likely to benefit scores of Indian workers in Qatar. Unidentified officials of Ministry of External Affairs had told The Hindu that there were more than 5 lakh Indian domestic workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Qatar.