Maid Problem Eludes Solution

2015-0119 Maid Problem Eludes Solution

The household maid crisis continues, without any clear solutions to the problem and with prices for domestic aid skyrocketing.

At a time when everyone is pointing fingers at each other, many believe that the responsibility of this crisis lies on the shoulders of many government and private bodies involved in the business, in the labor force itself and the nature of the work in addition to the employers and families who recruit house help at large.

Ahmad Al-Fuhaid, an official at the Labor Ministry, told the local media that current negotiations with Indonesian companies and government bodies for the return of their maids to the Kingdom are stalled, since they have demanded more time to respond to the Saudi conditions.

“The two countries have not yet agreed on a time frame to send labor back to the Kingdom,” explained Al-Fuhaid.

He added that there are still friction points on the recruitment procedures between the two countries which do not include salaries and training issues.

“These two points will be agreed upon following the signing of the frame agreement. The Ministry of Labor will make all efforts possible to safeguard the rights of Saudi citizens,” he said.

He denied that the ministry gave in to the demands and conditions of labor exporting countries, such as maids leave the household during weekly days off.

Head of the recruiting committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yahya Al-Maqboul, confirmed that 70 percent of the arrangements to recruit Indonesian house help have been completed so far.

Mohammad Salim, director of a recruiting office, said some labor exporting countries impose unfair conditions on recruiting offices such as paying fines on behalf of the maid if she were to violate the law.


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