New Domestic Workers Law
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Cairo: Saudi Arabia is expected in the “next few weeks” to re-open recruitment of domestic workers from Ethiopia, more than three years after the kingdom halted this recruitment from the African country, a Saudi news portal has reported.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has requested local recruitment agencies to urgently contact their counterparts in Ethiopia to reactivate their accounts with the Saudi embassy in Addis Abba in a step to expedite the re-launch of recruitment from the country, Sabq added, citing a circular from the Saudi Federation of Chambers.

There was no immediate official comment in Riyadh nor was there a word about the fee cap potentially set for recruiting house workers from Ethiopia.

Last September, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources announced setting a cap on recruitment fees of overseas house labour as part of efforts to regulate the market and secure contractual relationship between the parties engaged in the recruitment process.

The fees 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 endeavours to regulate the labour market, the Saudi ministry has set up the Musaned domestic labour programme to help customers learn about their rights and duties as well as related services including visa issuance, recruitment requests and contractual relation between the employer and the worker.

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