Husin Bagis says both countries are negotiating a new MoU. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: The Indonesian Embassy in Abu Dhabi will not attest the job contract of Indonesian housemaids working in the UAE if the contract does not meet the new criteria laid down by the embassy, a top diplomat told Gulf News on Saturday.

The criteria include increased minimum wages based on the maid’s years of experience, said Husin Bagis, Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE.

“This is part of our efforts to improve the living conditions of our citizens. Of around 102,000 Indonesians living in the UAE, many are housemaids,” he said.

Minimum wage

The increased minimum wage for a housemaid with two to four years’ experience is Dh1,400 ($378) per month, which goes up to Dh3,200 ($864) for a maid with 20 or more years of service, according to a circular issued by the embassy.

Bagis said new maids are not coming to the UAE because of a moratorium put in place by Indonesia in 2015 on their recruitment.

Both countries are negotiating a memorandum of understanding in this regard and once it is signed, the recruitment will resume, he said.

First time

Decky Haedar Ulum, Labour Attaché at the embassy, said it is the first time that the embassy has fixed minimum wages for maids.

Since the new system came into force on January 1, the embassy has been attesting job contracts of 15 to 20 maids a day, he said.

The embassy’s attestation is not a mandatory requirement under the UAE laws to renew a maid’s job contract and employers are free to renew it. However, when a maid goes back home, Indonesian emigration authorities will not permit her to leave the country if her job contract is not attested by the embassy, he explained.

Ulum said there has been no resistance from employers to raising the minimum wages of their maids and they have been happily doing it while renewing the job contracts.

Minimum wages as per experience

■ 2 to 4 years — Dh1,400
■ 4 to 6 years — Dh1,600
■ 6 to 8 years — Dh1,800
■ 8 to 10 years — Dh2,000
■ 10 to 12 years — Dh2,200
■ 12 to 14 years — Dh2,400
■ 14 to 16 years — Dh2,600
■ 16 to 18 years — Dh2,800
■ 18 to 20 years — Dh3,000
■ 20 years and above — Dh3,200