Philippine labour official says solution in sight amid discussions with UAE government
Published: 19:07 June 19, 2015
Dubai: A solution is expected within the year on issues pertaining to the shortage of Filipino maids in the UAE, a top Philippine labour official said.
A year after the Philippines stopped sending maids to the UAE due to conflicting recruitment rules of both countries, Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said both countries should be able to agree on a resolution that will enable redeployment of Filipino maids to the UAE under terms both countries will adhere to.
“We are still under negotiations with the UAE government regarding the standardisation of employment contracts to start maid redeployment. The draft memorandum has been given to our UAE counterparts so they can give their comments. After that, if we both agree on the terms and conditions, we expect to sign a Memorandum of Understanding within the year,” Baldoz told reporters.
The hiring of new maids directly from the Philippines by UAE employers has stopped since June last year after the Ministry of Interior introduced a unified contract for domestic workers leading to the suspension of the role of various embassies in verifying and attesting contracts.
Labour-supplying countries like the Philippines stressed that their domestic laws dictate that they should verify and record employment contracts of maids to protect them. The suspension of contract verification in effect meant no maids could be hired from the Philippines legally.
This raised many problems for UAE residents as a majority of them prefer to hire Filipino maids.
In her visit to the UAE on Friday, Baldoz said the draft standard contract of employment is aimed at eliminating the problem of contract substitution.
Baldoz said the draft contains provisions of the International Labour Organisation Convention 189. It states that maids should have at least one rest day per week, should receive a minimum salary of $400 (Dh1,468), their passports should not be confiscated, and they should have decent living quarters, among other safeguards.
Baldoz said her office is in talks with the UAE’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) on the issue.
She said her office expects the MOL’s comments on the draft memorandum after Ramadan.