Ethiopian African House Maid
For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s labour authorities have vowed to implement recently approved rules for bringing in overseas domestic workers including a fee cap as part of efforts to regulate the market and secure contractual relationship between the parties engaged in the recruitment process.

Last September, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced setting a cap on recruitment fees of overseas house labour and vowed to penalise violators.

“The Ministry of Human Resources is keen to maintain stability, regulate recruitment fees and price governance, and implement follow-up to ensure high quality of the service,” the ministry’s spokesman Saad Al Hamad said.

The official told Okaz newspaper that the ministry had obligated recruitment brokerage agencies to abide by the fee limits set by the ministry for hiring domestic labour.

They are set at SR9,500 per a worker from Uganda, SR10,000 from Thailand, SR10,870 from Kenya, SR13,000 from Bangladesh, and SR17,288 from the Philippines.

Non-committal recruitment offices will face shutdowns.

As part of its efforts to regulate the labour market, the ministry has set up the Musaned domestic labour programme to help customers learn about their rights and duties and related services including visa issuance, recruitment requests and contractual relation between the employer and the worker.

The Musaned also helps regulate and automate the recruitment process starting from giving the customer access to all recruitment offices in the kingdom and picking the most suitable, depending on a host of factors including prices, and previous clients’ feedbacks without the need to visit each of them.

“The ministry stresses the necessity of contracting via the Musaned, being the official platform in the recruitment sector and through which everyone’s rights are safeguard,” Al Hamad said.

The ministry has recently issued instructions regulating the transfer of domestic workers’ sponsorship and rules of recruitment and presentation of labour services with the aim of improving contractual relationship and boosting market attractiveness in the kingdom.