New Domestic Workers Law
Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: The number of domestic workers recruited in Saudi Arabia from abroad last year rose by 224,000 to reach a total of 3.826 million against 3.602 million in 2022, according to recent figures.

The biggest part of the increase was in the recruitment of house helpers, and cleaning workers who accounted for 84% of the overall spike.

Certain domestic labour jobs showed last year significant growth in recruitment rates. Housekeepers increased by 43.8%; drivers by 1.7%; and domestic helpers and cleaners combined by 10.9% while house guards increased by 34.7% and farmers by 46.5%, according to a breakdown given by Saudi newspaper Al Watan.

In contrast, other domestic professions experienced a drop in recruitment last year. For example, hiring cooks and meal providers decreased by 3%; house tailors by 0.9%; live-in nurses by 4.3%; as well as tutors and nannies by 19.9%.

Domestic workers in Saudi Arabia include housekeepers, drivers, housemaids, cleaners, cooks, guards, farmers, live-in nurses, tutors and nannies.

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

The ministry has made the contracting process obligatory via the Musaned, being the official recruitment platform in the kingdom.

The government portal recently highlighted the average fee and caps for hiring house workers from six countries.

The Musaned platform put the maximum fees of recruiting such workers from Uganda at SR8,300 and the average at SR6,635, Ethiopia at SR5,900 while the average at SR5,259, Kenya at SR9,000 and SR7,609, Bangladesh at SR11,750 and SR9,276, Sri Lanka at SR13,800 and SR13,446, while those from the Philippines at SR14,700 and the average at SR14,447, respectively.