Crisis continues in recruitment of female domestic workers

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 21: In light of the continued cessation of most of the countries from where domestic workers are recruited to work in Kuwait, the crisis continues in this sector for all labor recruitment offices, particularly in the employment of women, reports Al-Rai daily. Although Kuwaiti laws in the field of labor rights are considered the best in the world, other Gulf countries and Jordan overcame the crisis years ago by adhering to their laws regarding the recruitment of domestic workers. A specialist in domestic labor affairs Bassam Al-Shammari elaborated on the advantages of Kuwaiti laws, which do not exist in the laws of neighboring countries.

He explained that there are three additional items that distinguish them from others, which are:-

1 – One-month paid leave after 11 months of work.

2 – End-of-service remuneration, at the rate of one month for each year of work.

3 – Payment of double wages for additional working hours per day. He described the three additions as “unfair to the employer, since the civil labor law does not provide for them.”

Al-Shammari highlighted that the failure to fully implement the laws related to the employment sector is what prompted the addition of those provisions, which doubled the burden on employers and made some of them reluctant to seek new workers.

He said, “The number of domestic workers increased to about 780,000 during the first six months of the year 2023 compared to about 613,000 in 2022, due to the increase in the employment of men to work as cook, driver, etc and who can be recruited without problems. The actual numbers will become clear after December, as the contracts for female workers are almost suspended, and the contracts of a large segment of female workers will begin to expire, which will lead to a deepening of the crisis.”

Al-Shammari appealed to the concerned authorities to find quick solutions and intervene in dissolving the terms of reference between government agencies, which may cause an increase in difficulties and damage to all parties in light of the current situation in the domestic labor sector. He stressed the need to spread cultural awareness regarding employment laws among the parties to the equation, who are sponsors, workers, owners of recruitment companies and offices, and workers in government agencies specialized in civil and domestic employment. Al-Shammari also stressed the need to benefit from the experiences of neighboring countries, especially the Bahraini model, which is closest to Kuwait. He called on the government to work on signing memorandums with countries from which domestic workers are recruited in line with the plan to adjust the demographics and their needs, instead of relying on a specific country, and to search for new countries that export workers at an acceptable level that commensurate with the nature of the Kuwaiti family.

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