Saudi firms stop hiring 'costly domestics' from Bangladesh
Saudi Arabia’s recruitment offices have decided to stop hiring Bangladeshi workers claiming that a supply crunch has raised costs, reports an Arab English daily.
A local publication quoted Ibrahim Al-Megheimish, a recruitment expert, as saying that there are too few Bangladeshi workers seeking employment, which now means costs have risen from $1,000 (SR3,751) to $1,800 (SR6,752) just to bring them here, Arab News reports.
The cost of SR 7,000 outlined by the Saudi Ministry of Labour is not enough to cover all the expenses incurred in bringing workers to the country. This has also been the complaint of other recruitment office owners, who said costs have risen 80 percent, he said.
According to Arab News, Al-Megheimish said he was surprised that the ministry announced the recruitment costs in American dollars. The ministry must abide by the agreement it had made initially with the Bangladesh government.
He added that the ministry’s claim that 500,000 Bangladeshi domestic workers would seek employment in the Kingdom has not materialized. Currently only four to six workers a week are supplied for work in Saudi Arabia.
“The training centers in Bangladesh are limited. In addition, the training period is four weeks, which has resulted in delays and penalties for workers,” Megheimish said.
Meanwhile, an official at the Saudi Embassy in Nepal said recently that a labor agreement for domestic workers between the two nations would be signed soon.
He said Nepal’s government is demanding that no individual or broker be involved in the recruitment process to protect the rights of workers, a local publication reported.
The official, who preferred anonymity, said the agreement is expected to be signed during a visit to the Kingdom soon by Nepal’s labor minister. This would be followed by an agreement for non-household workers, reports Arab News.
He said negotiations, which had been postponed because of a series of earthquakes in that country, have resumed and are in the final stages. The Kingdom is now waiting for the terms of the pact to be finalized in writing by the Nepalese side.
The Saudi ambassador would discuss the matter in the coming days with the Nepalese labor minister, he said. As for the number of Nepalese domestic workers, he said: “I don’t think it will be enough to meet the needs and high demand of the Saudi market.”
It is expected that there would be fewer Nepalese than other workers seeking work in the Kingdom because the country has a population of 29 million. This is much less than Indonesia. There is also less desire among Nepalese to work abroad, he said.