Dubai: Several women working for a Dubai company that offers part-time maid services are complaining that they’re being made to work long hours for low salaries while their boss is allegedly raking in money as business has been brisk.
They told Gulf News that they go from house to house to do domestic chores which is very harsh and difficult yet they only get a monthly pay of Dh1,200.
“I work for eight hours a day with minimum of two hours in each house,” Marlene, a Filipina, said.
She said her sponsor is an Emirati woman, who allegedly owns the maid service company.
“We stay in Ajman in a sharing accommodation with other housemaids and that accommodation is rented by our sponsor,” she said.
Sana, an Ethiopian, said she also gets paid Dh1,200, but the amount is not commensurate to her tremendous work load.
“I serve in different houses and my employer sends us by minivan to the houses we serve in. It is very difficult work and I’m so exhausted and it is not rewarded work,” she said.
Zahra, also from Ethiopia, said: “Our employer is also an Emirati woman and she sponsors around 40 housemaids and we are [being managed by] a lady from the Philippines who hands over our salaries and arrange transportation and everything related to us”.
The maids claim that the maid services company charge Dh35 to Dh40 per hour which translates to at least over Dh8,000 per maid in a month’s time.
Gulf News tried calling the company’s phone number to get their side of the story, but no one wanted to make a comment. The company likewise refused to allow Gulf News to visit their office and speak to the owner or manager.
Mohammad Bin Dakhin, Director of Governmental Communication at the Ministry of Labour told Gulf News that the ministry has nothing to do with domestic helpers.
“We only licensed recruitment agencies and all similar agencies and the ministry never licenses such part-time offices,” he said.
“We usually license recruitment agencies who offer full-time domestic helpers and labourers, but we have nothing to do with such practices,” he said.
He said the ministry had earlier banned cleaning services companies from allowing their workers to work in houses as they are only allowed to send cleaners to work for companies.
Costly but convenient
Hiring part-time maids may be costly, but is convenient for some families in Dubai.
“I’m a working woman and it is easy for me to get a part-time housemaid. I live in Dubai and the housemaid comes to my house for three hours a day, two times a week and I pay the employer of this housemaid Dh40 per hour,” said Alma, a Jordanian.
Hiba, a Lebanese, said she is also working mother and she hires a part-time housemaid who comes to her house three times a week.
“The [maid’s] employer is forcing me to take the housemaid for three hours despite the fact that one hour is enough for me,’ she said.
She said that she is paying Dh35 per hour.
“I receive the housemaid every other day and she wears a uniform and she works for two hours for me and I pay Dh40 per hour,” said another working mother.
She said the maid told her that she is not happy and that she is tired and she will go home.