When it comes to domestic workers, the first thing that comes to our mind is that domestic workers should be trustworthy, loyal and efficient. Therefore, these domestic workers are selected very wisely as they are to live with the employer and serve them. On the other hand, domestic workers also face issues; there are circumstances where they need a transfer of their sponsorship. Since long, the issue was not given its due attention, but now the ministry of labor and social development has spoken out for it. Ali Al-Ghafis, the minister of labor and social development, has taken some radical measures for the sake of not only regulating the labor market but also opening job opportunities for domestic workers such as housemaids and drivers.[irp]
The measures will provide the domestic workers and their dependents with opportunities to take up a job, under cases where they are rendered jobless without their own fault. Thereby, an approval of service transfer of domestic workers has been announced by Al-Ghafis. Now workers and their dependent’s sponsorship can be transferred from one employer to another under special circumstances. And yet, these circumstances have been specified by the ministry itself. These specified situations under which domestic workers can be transferred from one Employer to another are as follows:
1-The employer is unable to pay off the wages due upon for three months, for the services rendered by the worker.
2-The workers are unable to receive domestic help on their arrival at the Kingdom.
3-It had been more than 15 days living in shelters of Saudi Arabia and the employer has not picked them up.
4-The worker’s Iqama (residency certificate) has been not been renewed (or issued otherwise) within a month (30 days to be specific).
5-The worker’s services had been rented out to another person without his/her consent.
6-Provision of worker’s help in domestic chores to those who are not closely related.
7-Imposition of tasks that pose threat to worker’s safety and health.
8-Mistreatment with the domestic worker either by the Employer himself or by his/her family.
9-The Employer had lodged a fake complaint stating that worker has run away.
10-A worker has registered a complaint against his Employer and the Employer did not show up in two sittings held to examine the complaint.
11-Either due to traveling reasons or due to imprisonment, the Employer has disappeared.
12-The worker has not been given his due salary for consecutive three months for reasons such as employ’s death.
13-A case where minister deems it legit to transfer the worker to another employer.[irp]
The new employer has been given the right to keep the worker, for not more than 15 days, for trial basis: looking at his/her work, Employer can decide of hiring. However, Al-Ghafis has made it clear that the domestic worker shall be paid for the probation period as well. The transfer fees will be levied on the new employ. The Employer is also entitled to pay SR150 per day as expenses of the worker during his stay at shelter homes. These great measures surely will give a sense of protection to the domestic worker and will help them encounter greater job opportunities.
Source: Saudi Gazette