Recruiters Face Penalties for Delay in Hiring Maids

The Ministry of Labor has warned that it intends fining those recruitment offices and firms failing to deliver maids to citizens as promised in their contracts.

This includes all countries with which the ministry has signed agreements, such as the Philippines, said Ziyad Al-Sayegh, deputy minister for customer services and labor affairs, here recently. He said citizens have a right to complain and can do so on the ministry’s Musaned website.

Al-Sayegh said the ministry has decided to take action because it recently discovered that some citizens have been waiting for over 11 months for their workers to arrive in the Kingdom. He said the ministry would also investigate the causes for the delays.

Saeed Al-Musawi, a member of the recruitment committees at the Council of Saudi Chambers and Baha Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said 60 recruiting offices in the Kingdom have appointed lawyers and legal counselors to find solutions to the delays.

He said that Saudi consulates abroad have a role to play in speeding up procedures. The government should also look at standardizing recruitment criteria because these change every two weeks, he claimed.

Al-Musawi said that if the government starts to penalize recruiters SR30 a day, as stipulated in the labor ministry’s standard employment contract, then this would bankrupt many operators.

He said that Saudi recruiters face additional problems. This includes the current situation where one Philippine recruiting office deals with five of its Saudi counterparts. He said Saudi recruiters are only allowed to deal with two Philippine offices. In addition, the Philippine government has repeatedly stopped recruiters in that country from operating, which has seen visa applications pile up, claimed Al-Musawi.

Earlier, a ministry official said recruiting offices and firms have a grace period of 10 days to publish the prices for recruiting house help. According to the ministry, there are 338 authorized recruiting offices and 19 firms operating in the sector in the Kingdom.

(Source: Riyadh: Arab News)

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