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Poor Prospects for Resolving the Persistent Problem of Domestic Servants

There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to the lack of domestic workers, and to make matters worse, the government of Sri Lanka is alleged to have sent out a circular through the Association of Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Agencies.

The circular sets a minimum recruitment cost of 600 dinars for workers from Sri Lanka; however, only half of this amount is refundable in the event that the worker flees or declines to work for the company within the 6-month probationary period.

Domestic worker affairs expert Bassam Al-Shammari voiced concern to Al-Jarida, emphasizing that workers 45 years of age and older are exempt from the 600 dinar minimum recruiting cost, while those between 21 and 45 years of age must pay the 700 dinar minimum.

Al-Shammari highlighted that after the worker arrives in Kuwait, local offices suffer additional costs, which raises the overall cost to about 780 dinars. The lack of a sufficient profit margin makes recruitment unsustainable financially.

Reiterating its earlier report titled “Domestic Worker Crisis with the Approach of Ramadan,” which was released on January 10, Sri Lankan domestic worker export offices had instructed their Kuwaiti counterparts to temporarily suspend new worker exports.

This halt is intended to allow for the completion of the investigation into the decision (2/2024) made by the Minister of Trade and Industry to cap the maximum recruitment price—which includes the cost of travel—at 750 dinars for workers with experience or those on new contracts.

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