Recruitment offices halt process of hiring Filipino domestic helper

The recruitment offices in Saudi Arabia have halted procedures for hiring Filipino domestic workers since last Sunday, and this was attributed to a new decision of the Ministry of Labor of the Philippines to suspend sending domestic workers.

“During the last week, the recruitment offices had received a letter from the Philippines embassy informing about the suspension of receiving all new applications for the recruitment of domestic workers from the Philippines,” according to sources at recruitment offices.

The embassy noted that the suspension of recruitment process was consequent to the adoption of the new regulations issued by the Ministry of Labor governing the contractual relationship between Filipino domestic workers and their foreign employers.

The Saudi recruitment offices did not receive any details of the amended regulations and terms and conditions for the recruitment of Filipino housemaids. They also do not have any idea about the time when the temporary suspensions will be lifted, the sources have said.

Hakim Al-Khunaizi, an investor in the recruitment sector, said that the temporary suspension is linked to the new amendments in the terms and conditions of the new labor contracts for domestic workers. He also noted that the procedures that are halfway with regard to recruitment of domestic workers on the basis of the old regulations would also be delayed further because of the Ministry of Labor’s new decision.

He stated that the multiple problems between employers and domestic workers have also contributed indirectly to the delay in concluding new contracts. “The local recruitment offices did not have accurate information about the timing with regard to lifting of the temporary suspension of domestic workers. This is also prompted the offices to reject starting any new processes of hiring Filipino domestic workers so as to avoid financial fines,” he added.

For his part, Saleh Al-Qahtani, another investor in the recruitment sector, confirmed the temporary suspension decision by the Philippine’s Ministry of Labor, saying that the Philippine embassy, in turn, sent letters to recruitment offices, informing that all the recruitment procedures would remain halted until the amended regulations coming into force.

He said that the temporary suspension will directly affect the cost of hiring Filipino domestic workers, in addition to delaying the arrival of workers whose recruitment procedures have already been completed, besides its adverse impact on the Saudi recruitment offices.

Al-Qahtani also cited difficulties due to the absence of online facilities related to hiring Filipino workers. “The local recruitment offices need to go personally to the Philippine embassy in Riyadh to make payment of the fee for recruitment procedures in the absence of electronic means of payment or bank transfers.

The fee ranges between SR120-360 for a transaction, while the fees for starting procedures of hiring domestic workers and professional workers are amounted to SR120 and SR360 respectively. The total cost for hiring Filipino domestic workers ranges between SR20000 and SR23000, including tax, and Musaned charges amounting to 2.4 percent as administrative fees of the value of one contract.

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