Local Arabic newspaper Alrai reported that The offices and companies of domestic workers face several challenges in starting the recruitment process again in terms of the time required to start work, as well as the expected increase in recruitment costs, which are expected to jump by up to 50 percent to reach levels of 1400 to 1500 dinars.
In this regard, Bassam Al-Shammari (owner of several labor recruitment companies) stated that 60 percent of the domestic workers brought to Kuwait come from the Philippines, as workers of that nationality represent the backbone of office activity, and constitute the highest demand rate in the market.
He explained that the first problem facing domestic workers of that nationality is that after the signing of the agreement between Kuwait and the Philippines regarding their work last year, and the adoption of the “job order” that is signed between the foreign office and the Kuwaiti offices as a mechanism and a prerequisite for starting recruitment, the legal validity of all the «Job orders», and needs to be renewed, after the cessation of activity during the past year.
He indicated that the renewal of the “job order” would require additional procedures and time, which would make the recruitment process delayed until the necessary procedures are completed.
Al-Shammari mentioned that the other problem is related to the ministerial decision issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry regarding determining the prices of domestic workers, and linking the cost at the level of 990 dinars, which is the price that is difficult to adhere to in light of the current circumstances for 3 main reasons:
1 – External offices, as the changes that the world witnessed after the spread of the Coronavirus have affected all activities, and there are new requirements that have a cost added to their services, which means that there are additional sums on the cost of bringing in domestic workers, which is not possible. Local offices may intervene in it and are subject to the decision of external offices, especially the costs of training and subsistence before coming to Kuwait under the precautionary measures.
2 – Health requirements, as the recruitment of domestic workers has become determined by the mechanism adopted by those in charge of the “safety” platform, in which the prices of the return of domestic workers were determined in terms of PCR checks, the cost of institutional quarantine and travel tickets.
3 – Changing the ticketing mechanism, as the followed mechanism is that travel tickets are borne by the external office, and in light of Kuwait’s fixing of a fixed price for travel tickets and the requirement of procedures through the “safety” platform, the matter requires the provision of a mechanism for charging the cost of tickets to the external offices.
Based on these data, Al-Shammari concluded that the costs of recruiting domestic workers will inevitably rise by between 40 and 50 percent to between 1400 to 1500 dinars for a domestic worker, which requires the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to reconsider the decision to determine the costs of recruiting workers or disrupting Work with it until the end of the pandemic conditions.
Kuwait and Ethiopia
Al-Shammari touched on delaying the agreement on domestic workers between Kuwait and Ethiopia, calling on the Public Authority for Manpower to do its duty to terminate all contracts related to the agreement, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to overcome difficulties and ratify the final agreement with the Ethiopian side, as well as with the Philippine side, because of its impact. On the stability of the domestic labor market, so that the decision to open recruitment is applicable.
The visa is 4 months instead of 3
Al-Shammari mentioned that the precautionary measures in the countries of domestic workers will extend the period of recruitment from there relatively, especially in the Philippines where there are prohibited areas, which requires the request of the Ministry of Interior to issue a visa for domestic workers for a period of not less than 4 months instead of 3 months.
The role of ‘safety’
Concerned sources revealed that the role of the “Balsalama” platform in the process of bringing domestic workers to Kuwait will be similar to the same role that the platform plays with regard to their direct return to Kuwait from high-risk countries, as the platform can be easily linked to the offices of recruiting domestic workers.
They emphasized that the relevant government agencies now possess the necessary expertise in this regard, in cooperation with the “National Aviation Services” (NAS) company responsible for the platform, as the connection procedures that you need to start recruiting new domestic workers will not be difficult.
The sources indicated that this is due to the fact that the platform is already ready and is working on returning domestic workers to Kuwait to practice their work normally, in accordance with the required health precautionary measures, which will be implemented automatically when recruiting domestic workers again.
they explained that the role of the platform will be linked to the implementation of the health procedures, including the necessary pcr checks and airline tickets, as well as the mandatory institutional quarantine for workers for a period of 14 days starting from the date of their arrival in Kuwait, until the final test and their exit from quarantine, to start their other procedures with the various state agencies