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‘Manipulators to be referred to Prosecution’
KUWAIT CITY, April 30: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has warned the domestic labor offices against manipulating the prices of recruiting workers from abroad, and demanding that they abide by the price list set by the Ministry of Commerce for recruitment, reports Al-Qabas daily. These sources told if any office is found manipulating with the prices, will be closed and office owners will be referred to the Public Prosecution, saying a team has been formed in this regard to keep in check the activities of these offices. The members of the team comprise personnel from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Public Authority for Manpower to control the market and protect the consumer.
This comes at a time when the owners of offices for the recruitment of domestic workers have said they are committed to the decision of the Ministry of Commerce, which has determined the value of fixed contracts hired from abroad at 890 dinars. Owners of domestic labor recruitment offices told the daily there is a possibility of signing new contracts after the Eid Al-Fitr holidays and this will contribute to filling the shortage of this category of workers, especially in light of widespread demand for workers of all nationalities.
On the pricing of fixed contracts decided by the Ministry of Commerce at 890 dinars, they indicated that it is modest and but enough to make a profit, especially since the value of one contract from the Philippines, which is the most favored category of domestic workers, the price ranges between 2,400 and 3,100 dollars (equivalent of 734 and 950 dinars) — ticket price not included. The office owners attributed the change in the price of contracts to labor recruiting agencies from the Philippines and India, where the price changes according to the nature of the experience of the worker and other advantages. They stated the new contracts price if put at 1,250 dinars, include travel tickets and services, and will be appropriate for all offices, especially those working with Filipino labor agencies, while the previous prices could be good enough for Indian or African contracts, which range between 750 and 900 dinars.
According to data from the Ministry of the Interior and the Public Authority for Manpower, of which Al-Qabas obtained a copy, the total number of new contracts for domestic workers entering the country is 26,000, compared to the cancellation of approximately 4,500 residence permits annually. The corona pandemic had a significant impact on the domestic labor market, as the annual contracts fell by 30% of the total new employees entering the country, especially during 2020 and 2021 as 14.1 thousand workers entered the country compared to 52 thousand new contracts in 2018 and 2019. By comparing the number of domestic workers in the period before and after the pandemic, their numbers in 2019 was about 731 thousand domestic and gradually decreased until the end of last year to approximately 591,000, with a decrease rate of 140,000 workers. Female domestic workers constitute the largest proportion of domestic labor contracts.