Kuwait objects to Sri Lanka’s mandatory private insurance for domestic workers

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KUWAIT CITY, March 29: The Kuwaiti Federation of Owners of Domestic Labor Offices objected to the steps taken by the Republic of Sri Lanka since last January regarding compulsory private insurance for its domestic workers, whose value was set at $140, equivalent to 44 Kuwaiti dinars, and paid to an office in the UAE, reports Al-Qabas daily. In a series of correspondences addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Public Authority for Manpower, the Federation said Sri Lanka’s step is an explicit violation of Resolution No. 14120 issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Kuwait on May 7, 2009 regarding life insurance for domestic workers.

He added that the consular department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated in a previous decision bearing No. 14120 not to cooperate directly with foreign embassies and missions accredited in the country with regard to the issue of insurance for domestic workers, except through the “Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs” and according to the regulations.

The decision also obligated all insurance companies and commission insurance offices not to issue any life or accident insurance policy for domestic workers of different nationalities before the approval of the policy by the Insurance Department of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In addition, an informed source confirmed that the Kuwaiti offices are obligated to pay the insurance for the Sri Lankan worker in the interest of a collection office in the UAE only to complete the procedures for the transaction.

The source pointed out that the paid insurance is unknown, and it is not known the reason for its payment or what it covers for the worker, or the benefit accruing to the offices, whether health or security, or even related to the guarantees of contracts. The number of Sri Lankan domestic workers until the end of last year reached 92,000, of which 78.8% were female. Sri Lankan domestic workers constitute 11.9% of the total domestic workers, and they are ranked third among workers in the family sector.

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