KUWAIT CITY, March 10: A breakthrough has appeared with regard to the end of the crisis related to shortage of domestic workers in the country, which was exacerbated by the measures taken by the authorities due to the COVID- 19 pandemic and the ensuing insane rise in costs, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting informed sources. They indicated that the Federation of Filipino Domestic Labor Offices has begun coordinating with the offices in Kuwait to submit recruitment applications.
The sources affirmed that Filipino domestic workers will start coming to the country again this month, and this will ease the severity of the crisis as the holy month of Ramadan approaches.
They explained that a meeting took place on Monday between the owners of domestic labor recruitment offices and the Philippines Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa. During the meeting, they discussed steps to return to bring in workers on new contracts from the Philippines, which is the only source of domestic workers to Kuwait in light of the existence of a joint labor agreement between the two countries.
The meeting reviewed the most prominent new conditions required of Kuwait and its offices to launch new contracts, and the outstanding problems that need quick solutions. One of the issues that had been raised was the persistence of the problem related to 96 domestic workers, against whom lawsuits were filed by their sponsors for refusing to work and for going to shelters.
The Embassy of the Philippines in the country, in coordination with the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM), seeks to settle the conditions of female workers and notify the Ministry of Labor of the Philippines regarding the end of all their problems, as this would be a supportive reason to officially launch the recruitment of new workers from the Philippines. A meeting will be held this week between the Philippines’ Labor Ministry, the Domestic Labor Federation and the secretariat of the Kuwait offices. Serious steps on the road to re-recruitment will be discussed, including the conditions that must be met prior to the arrival of new workers in the country.
The most prominent among the new demands that the Philippines will place before Kuwait include granting freedom to the domestic worker either to transfer her residency with her knowledge or to return to her country after the expiry of her two-year contract, and to prevent sponsors from transferring the residency of their employees without their knowledge, as this is the reason behind the cases brought against many workers whose contracts had expired and their residencies were transferred to other sponsors without their knowledge.
The sources stressed the importance of setting up a mechanism to uncover expired contracts and not allowing legal cases to be instituted against workers who refuse to work after the end of their contracts with their right to return to their country and refuse to transfer to another sponsor. Also, the Public Authority for Manpower has referred 200 domestic labor cases to the courts. About 239 complaints are currently under investigation.
In the statistics issued for the month of February by PAM’s Department for Regulating the Recruitment of Domestic Workers, it was stated that the total number of domestic labor recruitment offices registered in the country amounted to 464 offices with 1,533 registered workers. Five conditions for resuming the recruitment of domestic workers from the Philippines:
1. Freedom to transfer residency or leave after two years
2. Settlement of the affairs of 96 female workers with lawsuits
3. Prevent sponsors from transferring residency without the workers’ knowledge
4. Not to be intransigent in instituting lawsuits 5. Establish a mechanism to detect expired contracts