Domestic labor issue continues to be a thorny issue in Kuwait

This news has been read 20076 times!

KUWAIT CITY, April 27: Completely contrary to what was expected, and after four years of confusion, loud rhetoric’s, and promises to eliminate the challenges faced by domestic workers, remove the causes of their complaints, and quickly settle their disputes, the decision to transfer the affiliation of these workers from the Ministry of Interior to the Labor Protection Sector of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) achieved nothing but a drop in Kuwait’s classification to low ranks and tarnish its reputation in terms of combating the crime of human trafficking, reports Aljarida daily.

A specialist in the affairs of domestic workers Bassam Al-Shammari said Kuwait has the best laws in the region to regulate the rights of workers with wide labor benefits, but they remain ink on paper. This is evident from the deprivation of these workers of their most basic rights by their employers withholding their documents such as civil ID card and passport in full view of the concerned sector, in addition to the great delay and procrastination in resolving disputes related to employers’ refusal to pay monthly salaries or end-of-service dues. The sector was unable to understand the nature of dealing with the file of domestic workers, and was preoccupied with its side conflicts with recruitment agencies, forgetting its main role of protecting employees.

This month coincides with the four-year anniversary of the decision to transfer the affiliation of domestic workers from the Ministry of Interior to the Public Authority for Manpower’s Labor Protection Sector for accelerating the pace of adjudication of disputes that arise between them and the employer, which are increasing day by day, and improving Kuwait’s global image in this regard, and making it attractive for this workforce.

However, according to what was indicated by some international reports, the opposite happened. This lowered Kuwait’s classification to low ranks with regard to combating the crime of human trafficking, or by opening new recruitment markets with several countries through which it is possible to diversify the nationalities of this labor force without being content with one or two countries that monopolize the market and cause an imbalance and major problems if one of them decides to stop supplying its labor to the country, as is currently happening with the Philippines, which supplies Kuwait with about 60 percent of its labor needs.

Al-Shammari said, “The most prominent reason for the failure is the lack of understanding by PAM’s Labor Protection Sector about the nature of dealing with the domestic labor file, which is completely different from dealing with labor in the private sector. It is unable to even read and analyze its data and requirements in an optimal and correct manner, and then find appropriate solutions to the series of crises facing the country with regard to regulating the recruitment and use of domestic workers for years without radical solutions.

Although we have the best laws in the region to regulate the recruitment and use of domestic workers, which include many and wide labor advantages such as paid annual leave, end-of-service reward and weekly leave, and fixed number of daily working hours, they remain ink on paper. This is because this labor force is deprived of its most basic rights in terms of their documents and ID proofs such as the civil ID and passport being withheld by the employers under the eyes and ears of the concerned sector in the authority which does not move a finger.

There is a clear defect in the system of the Labor Protection Sector in terms of quickly resolving labor disputes and restoring rights to their owners, whether related to the employer’s refusal to pay monthly salaries or end-of-service dues.

There is a decline in the role assigned to the shelter center affiliated with the sector, which is based on the speedy containment of disputes that may arise between workers and their employers. Its policies for dealing with workers against whom reports of absconding are filed by their employers are imprudent.”

Al-Shammari highlighted the phenomenon of overcrowding of domestic workers inside their country’s embassies, which is a flagrant violation of local laws and international norms, and reflects the weakness and inability of the concerned sector to carry out its assigned role.

He stressed that the Labor Protection Sector is preoccupied with creating side conflicts with local recruitment offices, forgetting its main role of protecting domestic workers.

Al-Shammari said, “This weakness of the Labor Protection Sector has emboldened some embassies in the country and made them abuse the role of the authority by playing its role in resolving the disputes of its nationals from domestic workers, summoning the employer and the worker, and investigating complaints in clear and deliberate marginalization of the authority, as well as renting premises to house the workers who flee from their sponsors.”

He enumerated a number of proposals to solve the domestic labor crisis, foremost of which is the activation of the articles of law No. 68/2015 regarding domestic labor, and the commitment of the parties to the labor equation to the terms of the unified work contract inspired by the aforementioned law.

He called for the activation of what was stipulated in chapter 8 of the law, which established a sequence in resolving labor disputes, starting with negotiation, followed by the intervention of recruitment offices, then the Department of Domestic Labor, and ending with referring the matter to the judiciary.

Al-Shammari stressed the urgent need to increase the memorandums of understanding for the recruitment and use of domestic labor from new countries, to open support activities for the employment of domestic workers, for example, daily or monthly work, and ensuring financial rights, and the speedy settlement of labor disputes with employers.

He called for separating the overlap in terms of specializations between PAM and other concerned government agencies, activating the educational policy for the three parties to the labor equation, including recruitment and employment offices, and employers, and introducing them to all the rights and duties guaranteed by the law.

This news has been read 20076 times!

Related Articles

Back to top button

Advt Blocker Detected

Kindly disable the Ad blocker

Verified by MonsterInsights