Saudi Arabia begins hiring housemaids from India

Facing acute shortage of housemaids, Saudi Arabia has started recruiting female domestic helps from India under a first-ever labour pact inked between the two nations in January.

PTI| Updated: Jul 10, 2014, 17:03 PM IST

Riyadh: Facing acute shortage of housemaids, Saudi Arabia has started recruiting female domestic helps from India under a first-ever labour pact inked between the two nations in January.

Saudi Deputy Minister of Labour Mufarrij Al-Huqbani said the joint Saudi-Indian working team has finalised the recruitment contract that contains provisions to ensure the authenticity and implementation of the employment contract.

It also contains provisions to ensure recruitment cost, action against hiring agencies violating laws and a mechanism to prevent cheating by middlemen, the Saudi Gazette reported.
The agreement, which remains in effect for five years and will be renewed automatically for similar periods, seeks to establish a mechanism to provide 24-hour assistance to the domestic maids.

The contract was signed by Minister of Labour Adel Fakeih and then Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi in New Delhi in January.

There are 2.8 million Indian workers in Saudi Arabia and Indians form the largest expatriate community in the Kingdom. Of the around 500,000 domestic workers, mostly working as maids, helpers, drivers and cleaners, around 10 per cent are women.

This was the first time India has entered into a labour cooperation pact with Saudi Arabia.
A committee of senior officials from both countries will monitor the implementation of the pact to straighten out any difficulties.

The agreement also includes putting specific conditions for accepting domestic workers, the report said.

The conditions include good conduct, they should not have legal or criminal cases. They should pass medical check-up, abide by the laws and traditions during the period of work in the Kingdom.