Image Credit: Gulf News

Manama: Indonesia may consider increasing the minimum salary of its housemaids employed in the Gulf countries, Indonesian Minister for Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskander has said.

The current minimum salary of untrained housemaids from Indonesia in the Gulf is $200 per month, while trained housemaids receive a minimum salary of $250 a month.

"We are studying the living conditions in each of the GCC states and are in the process of revising the salaries to meet the growing requirements of the workers," the minister was quoted as saying by Qatari daily Gulf Times.

Iskander said the housemaids from Indonesia have received better treatment at their employers' place in Qatar than in most other GCC states.

"Unlike what it used to be, the local embassy receives fewer complaints these days from housemaids," he said.

The minister said that Indonesia had stopped sending domestic helpers to Kuwait following complaints of harassment and ill-treatment from employers.

Salaries of thousands of domestic helpers working in the Gulf vary according to their countries of origin, with Filipinas believed to receive the highest pay.

Indonesian helpers working in Qatar receive between $200 and $250 a month.

According to the minister, around 28,000 Indonesians including families, live in Qatar. About 18,000 are employed as housemaids.

"Our focus today is to reduce the number of housemaids in the local Indonesian population and to increase the number of professionals in other sectors including oil and gas, health and hospitality," he said.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Monday, Indonesian medical professionals, mainly nurses, will be recruited to work in Qatar.

Iskander said that Qatari labour authorities have asked the Indonesian government to submit the details of the educational qualifications of nurses and other staff to be recruited.

"Working conditions of the nurses, including their salary structure, will be worked out after the next round of talks," the minister said.