Tintu Stephen is a 28 years old nurse who came to Saudi Arabia from the Indian state of Kerala to provide her nursing services at a polyclinic. The nurse was assured that she had been hired for 3 years and would be granted annual leaves. She came to the kingdom on the 7th of February 2017.
The sponsor refused to grant her maternity leave
She was expecting a baby and asked her sponsor, who was running a polyclinic in the state of Abha, to grant her the maternity leave.
The two had a dispute as the sponsor was not willing to grant her the leave as her work contract was of 3 years long. The sponsor first would pose delays to her leave on useless grounds and when the time was finally near, reported her as a runaway. Recommended: Rules related to Maternity leaves in Saudi Arabia
She traveled back to her home country in 2018. She got married and returned back to Saudi Arabia on the 19th of May 2018. On her arrival, she discovered that she was pregnant. She was alone here and wanted to rejoice the biggest happiness of her life with her family back in India.
She thereby applied for maternity leave so that she could leave Saudi Arabia on-time to avoid any complication. However, neither her recruitment agent nor her employer showed sympathy towards her and her condition. They delayed her right to leave and, in the end, reported her as a huroob which made it impossible for her to leave the kingdom.
They kept on playing tactics to delay her maternity leave
She herself, commenting upon the entire situation, told that the management assured her that she would be granted with maternity leave after the Ministry of health officials would pay an inspectional visit to the clinic. Then she was told that a nurse from Sudan has been hired to replace her and as soon as she reaches the kingdom, Stephen would be granted with the leave.
Later, the employer posed a condition that they have certain reservations on her return and thereby want her to deposit SR30,000 as security. This was just another of their tactics to force her to stay in Kingdom. Her salary worth SR10,000 was additionally held back by the employer so that she could have least of the finances to leave the kingdom.
On this, Stephen contacted Ashraf Kuttichal, who is an Indian community worker. He, on behalf of Indian Consulate General in Jeddah. Tried to negotiate with Stephen’s employer. Yet things did not turn out any well.
The Indian community tried to help her but he was also arrested
Kuttichal thereby came to rescue and was about to take Stephen along with her on the final exit Visa through the deportation center at the Abha Airport. However, the employer reached there and reported a case against the two. The two were arrested, yet were later released on bail by social workers.
After getting out of jail, she was successfully able to give birth to a baby girl at the Abha Maternity hospital. Stephen has now approached the governorate to gain justice while she and her well-wishers are rejoicing her happiness at the hospital.
The case has been put forth at the labor court and Stephen along with her baby are waiting for the court’s verdict so that they could reunite with their family in India.
Finally, with the help of the Saudi Government, the nurse has traveled back to her home country. Ultimately, justice was served to the stranded nurse.
Source: Saudi Gazette