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KUWAIT CITY, July 21: The issue of domestic workers repeatedly blows hot and cold and involves the government, the National Assembly and the community, as well as the owners of recruitment offices and others as there is a high demand domestic workers, reports Al-Qabas of the daily. During the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing repercussions, the country suffered from a shortage of domestic workers brought in from overseas, due to pandemic-imposed restrictions on travel around the world, and the reluctance of some countries to send their citizens to work. as domestic workers in Kuwait, for various reasons including mistreatment, but with life finally returning to normal, after the crisis ended, the rate of entry of new domestic workers increased to 613 000 during the first quarter of 2022.
Domestic workers represent about 13.1% of the total population and the annual expenditure of this category of workers, based on the average monthly salary of 100 dinars, is about 735.6 million dinars. Domestic workers make up 50.1% of total workers in the family sector and the country brings them in from around 15 Asian and African countries, but the problem is now limited to three countries: the Philippines, India and Benin . Recent reports released by the Public Authority for Manpower showed an increase in the number of domestic workers in the first quarter of this year by 7,587 new workers. The Philippines accounted for the highest proportion – 62.8% of the total number of contracts during this period, followed by India and Benin. In addition, the volume of complaints received by PAM’s Department of Domestic Workers reached an average of 450 complaints per month, mostly from citizens against recruitment agencies or companies.
According to statistics released by PAM, the Department of Domestic Work recorded over 1,700 complaints in the first six months of this year, with the highest percentage coming from an employer against an office or business, followed by workers’ complaints against employers. Complaints lodged with the administrative center regarding the failure of offices or companies to return the money related to the contracts in the event that the worker refuses to continue working and wishes to return to his country during the period of 6 month.
The authority also forwarded 71 complaints to the courts against workers who had left work and was able to resolve 1,104 complaints out of court between the disputing parties. Based on the limited recruitment of the recent period, contrary to the high volume of applications from citizens and residents in the female domestic labor market, the recruitment offices are waiting for the completion of the procedures for signing the employment agreement with the Ethiopian side, to open the door to contracts with new workers, especially since the offices are currently dependent on Filipino workers in the face of the new contract signed for around 2,500 dollars (without ticket), according to the business specialist domestic worker and owner of one of the recruitment companies, Bassam Al-Shammari.
Al-Shammari told the daily that he expects Ethiopian workers to have a good opportunity to work in Kuwait, in light of the increased volume of orders, indicating that prices will be lower than Philippine contracts, but the choice is up to the employer and his requirements.
He pointed out that the high volume of complaints registered with the APM by the domestic work sector must be confronted with more measures that strengthen the rights of offices and employers, in particular what is linked to the right to re-employment, because Allowing this issue will help deal with the black market. In turn, the Councilor of the Federation of Domestic Labor Offices, Abdulaziz Al-Ali, told the daily that the strong market demands are for Filipino domestic workers, but there must be a competitive market and not count. on a single source, pointing out that opening a new market like Ethiopia will increase competition and diversify prices.
Al-Ali affirmed the interest of the Federation and the Kuwaiti offices in the experience, quality and training of the workers coming to the country, in particular the Ethiopians, whose agreement should be reached between the Kuwaiti and Ethiopian parties. . Federation President Khaled Al-Dakhnan, in a similar statement, stressed the importance of opening up a new market and accelerating the resolution of requirements to bring in Ethiopian workers, in order to create competition in light of the large number of requests. Al-Dakhnan said the opening of the new labor market would be competitive with current prices, in terms of cost and monthly salaries.