Former UAE ambassador pays compensation to domestic workers

Employment Appeals Tribunal awards €240,000 to three women treated like ‘slaves’

Charlie Flanagan: Government  ‘strongly committed to  protection of domestic workers’. Photograph: Alan Betson

Charlie Flanagan: Government ‘strongly committed to protection of domestic workers’. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The former United Arab Emirates ambassador who was accused of treating three of his domestic staff like “slaves” has paid them compensation for their ordeal.

The three women, Myra Calderon, Laylanie Laporga and Jennifer Villaranda, were each awarded €80,000 by the Employment Appeals Tribunal after enduring “horrific” working conditions at Khalid Nasser Rashid Lootah’s home.

Mr Lootah, who was recalled to the UAE after revelations of the abuse, was alleged to have treated the women like slaves. At one stage he “physically hit” one of three young women in his employment when he lost his temper because she could not get his son to eat his dinner, a report from the tribunal said.

‘Violent and degrading’

Mr Lootah cited diplomatic immunity for his decision not to attend the tribunal. However, his government stated that they took the “matter seriously, and accordingly” decided to recall him to Abu Dhabi.

A spokeswoman for the Migrants Rights Centre, which took up the case of behalf of the women involved, said all issues relating to the case had been resolved “to the satisfaction of all parties involved”.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan welcomed the settlement. He said the Government remained “strongly committed to the protection of domestic workers in Ireland”. Diplomatic staff who employ domestic workers are expected to respect Irish law and apply good employment practice, he said.