Abu Dhabi: Domestic workers’ recruitment business has already been facing a slump and opening of new government operated centres will further impact the hiring through agencies, a recruitment agent told Gulf News.

Currently, recruitment agents are waiting and watching the situation, said Ratnapriya Marapana, managing director of International Admirable Services Establishment in Al Ain.

He is not sure whether his company would be able to continue operating in the market once Tadbeer centres are opened. “We have not received any official intimation.”

The managing director said 70 per cent of his company’s business in the past used to be recruitment of housemaids and the rest male helpers and drivers etc.

However, the number of housemaids’ recruitment has gone down to around 30 per cent during the past two years due to various reasons, Marapana said.

About the recruitment costs of housemaids, Marapana said, employers bear the costs of two-year visa [Dh520], Emirates ID [Dh270] and medical insurance [minimum Dh600; total Dh1,390]. The recruitment fee charged by the company varies, depending on the nationality of housemaids. “It depends on the commission charged by the local recruitment agents in countries from where housemaids come,” he explained.

Currently the company is charging Dh13,500 for Filipinos, Dh14,500 for Indonesians and Sri Lankans, Dh11,000 for Indians, Dh9,000 for Bangladeshis and Dh4500 for Ethiopians.

A spokesperson of maidfinder.ae, an online portal offering housemaid recruitment services in the UAE, said the new development will not affect their business. “We provide our service for just Dh350 [for a month to access the database of locally available candidates]. Ours is not a recruitment agency and we do not bring housemaids from abroad but it is somewhat like a human resource consultancy,” she said.

Therefore, the spokesperson said, they are able to offer cheaper service to prospective employers. For a flat fee of Dh350, employers can find a housemaid of any nationality from its database. However, the employer has to do recruitment procedures including visa processing and related formalities at their own cost.

“Most of the candidates are already in the UAE … some on visit visa and others looking to change existing jobs,” she explained. Filipino housemaids are the most popular. Asians such as Indians and Pakistani employers prefer an Indian or Nepalese housemaid, she said.