Majority of domestic workforce in Saudi Arabia is from S.E.Asia
The Saudi Ministry of Labour has issued a directive last Saturday 25th October that it has decided to halt the issuance of domestic work visas. This comes in the wake of several employee reforms that the Govt has decided to implement.These reforms are mainly directed towards migrant domestic workers. The reforms details:
- Curbing the undue stacking of workers by employers who showed high employee turnover rates
- Protecting the rights of existing ones
Under the new directive, applications for hiring domestic workers will only be accepted online through the Labor Ministry’s online Musaned system www.musaned.gov.sa. The website also contains detailed information of various services from applying to hiring. The online acceptance of applications will grant relief to both employers and workers as there would be transparency and a hassle-free hiring process. Earlier under the manual system, many Saudi families/employers were duped by recruiting agencies and were charged exorbitant recruitment fees, in some cases 10 times the price of SR2000. And migrant workers who ran away after suffering abuse and ill-treatment, had no chance of recourse as there was no way finding who was right.
Many countries that had hitherto been active in sending domestic workforce to Saudi Arabia have either stopped or have reduced their numbers. Harsh punishments many leaning towards capital punishments without any chance for reprieves, have left many labour exporting South East Asian countries to think twice before encouraging such migrations.
Indonesia has stopped sending its workers while India, Philippines, SriLanka and many of its counterparts have demanded better laws, mechanisms and guarantees for its workforce. Assuaging these nations Ahmed Al-Fuhaid, undersecretary at the Labor Ministry said, that the ministry has all the mechanisms in place to protect the rights of employers and workers. It has also set up a 24 hour call center, operating in 8 languages for workers to voice their complaints and grievances.
News Source: Arab News
Image Source: npr.org, getty images
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