Responding to complaints of several domestic worker recruitment offices overcharging employers, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has made it clear that it remained committed to the recruitment fees fixed earlier and would monitor and penalize any recruitment office found to be overcharging clients.
In response to a question by MP Ahmed Al-Hamad, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Abdullah Al-Salman said his ministry would monitor the extent of commitment shown by domestic workers recruitment offices to the fees stipulated earlier for hiring and bringing domestic workers to Kuwait.
Following a recent decision by the government to allow the return of domestic workers to the country, it had been reported that several offices engaged in recruiting domestic workers were charging employers far higher than the rates fixed by the authorities.
MoCI had set the fees for recruiting domestic workers based on the recommendations of an advisory committee. The committee had proposed that fees for hiring workers should be based on the country of origin and gender of the domestic worker. The stipulated fees were as follows:
Philippines: KD390 for both male and female domestic helpers;
India: KD200 for female workers and KD100 for men;
Sri Lanka: KD240 for female employees and KD180 for males;
Ethiopia: KD145 for both men and women employees;
Bangladesh: KD196 for both genders; and Senegal:KD480 for both men and women.
The minister underlined that the stipulated fees take into account the official fees and expenses decided by each country from where the domestic worker was recruited. The fees do not include the commissions marked for the offices and intermediaries in those countries, and also do not include the expenses of labor recruitment offices in Kuwait and their profit margin.
Al-Salman added that “monitoring the employment of domestic workers with Kuwaiti families is the prerogative of the Public Authority for Manpower, and the Ministry receives all consumer complaints. In the event that any domestic labor recruitment office is charged with not complying with the pre-fixed fees, the ministry would conduct an inspection and if the charge was found to be valid, a violation will be filed and the company would be referred to the prosecution department for further legal action against them.
The minister explained that after adopting the ‘Belsalamah’ platform, the ministry had reduced the fees for services rendered by the domestic worker recruitment, based on “Ministerial Decree No. 33/2021 issued on 1/2/2021, which set the fees for domestic labor recruitment by offices at KD890 and if the domestic workers are directly hired by the Kuwaiti employer the fees was KD390.