UAE | Employment

Recruiters hiring Filipinas as housemaids face tough criteria

Watch list of placement agencies to ensure rights and welfare of job applicants

  • By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:20 September 24, 2012
  • Gulf News

Housemaid
  • Image Credit: Gulf News archive
  • Foreign placement agencies in the UAE looking to hire Filipino housemaids for employers in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah will only be able to do so if their track record is “clean”, Philippine labour attache Delmer Cruz told Gulf News

Dubai: Foreign placement agencies in the UAE looking to hire Filipino housemaids for employers in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah will only be able to do so if their track record is “clean”, Philippine labour attache Delmer Cruz told Gulf News.

Cruz said his office has prepared a new watch list detailing the track record of more than 80 placement agencies operating in the UAE between January and August this year. Of the 80 recruiters, 45 were found to have been lax on regulations or had cases of runaway maids.

All the 45 erring agencies were ranked according to the severity of violations and the 15 agencies held responsible for the most number of runaways are being closely monitored.

“We hold in abeyance the verification process of these agencies’ documents and will not approve their application for new job orders [for new housemaids] unless the complaints have been resolved,” Cruz told Gulf News.

Currently, a total of 108 Filipinos have sought shelter at the Filipino Workers Resource Centre (FWRC), a halfway house for distressed Filipinos run by the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (Polo). Many of the workers complained of unjust work hours, ill-treatment, and non-payment of wages.

The move comes after Philippine labour secretary Rosalinda Baldoz’s instructions last month to ban abusive employers from hiring Filipino housemaids around the world.

A five-year selective phase-out plan to find suitable assignments for domestic workers overseas is also being studied and is expected to be ready by the year-end.

While the new watch list is not a deciding factor in itself, Cruz said that the number of violations and runaways against a placement agency’s name were indicative of its failure to safeguard the rights and welfare of workers it had hired. He said he will hold a meeting with erring agencies to discuss and resolve such issues.

Meanwhile, secretary Rosalinda commended Cruz for the initiative and assured him that the labour department would “act fast on your reports and recommendations”.

“Continue to clean the roster of HSWs [household service workers] employers and agents to ensure that [Filipinos] in the UAE are fully documented and accounted for,” Rosalinda said in response to Cruz’s report.

Migrant rights group Migrante-UAE welcomed Polo’s decision but said that other issues should also be looked into. “We challenge them to likewise strictly enforce the mandated minimum wage of $400 (Dh1,468) for housemaids and closely monitor them after deployment,” Nel Morona, country coordinator for Migrante-UAE, told Gulf News.

Comments (6)

  1. Added 13:09 September 25, 2012

    I hope that this regulation will be strictly implemented for the welfare of all the filipino domestic workers here in UAE.

    jon, dubai, Philippines

  2. Added 12:33 September 25, 2012

    It's a good idea, but be sure to check also the agencies because their are some not following the contract. They are just thinking their to have money, but never thinking what the housemaid is going through.

    Anonymous, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 11:22 September 25, 2012

    The Philippine government must enforce the law by eliminating those travel agencies which do not comply with the appropriate requirements and with records inconsistent of what the law has required. Illegal recruitment on a large scale must be penalized accordingly. There will be no cases of abuse OFW if those agencies are legitimate. Employers from different countries will be obligated to do their part because the agency thru which a perfected contract was made thereto was a result of a legitimate and with a government approval. OFW are HERO's of all time and the government must protect the rights accorded thereto.

    Edward A. Belen, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:13 September 25, 2012

    I think this is fair. No one in this world has the right to abuse anyone. Though stereotyping the housemaids or the labour workers is an illness of society. But haven't we realize that they do most of the hard work? That our lives rely on them? I just hope employers from different part of the world, say what you have to say, but these Filipino housemaids are not your slaves. They have helped you fulfill your neglected responsibilities at home and your family. They are your extended arms, heart and soul for your kids. Give them the respect and care they deserve.

    monsur, dubai, Philippines

  5. Added 09:36 September 25, 2012

    So fewer jobs for filipino house maids now.

    John, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:34 September 25, 2012

    Some employers don't have a good heart, they are not treating them as humans, only want them to serve them. i hope they will ban already the housemaid to work around the world so that nobody will suffer.

    nyl, -, Philippines

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