Saudi Arabia seeks talks on hiring of SL maids

30 August 2014 05:18 am - 25     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Saudi officials have announced a five-day visit to Sri Lanka in a bid to overcome "difficulties" related to the recruitment of domestic workers , Arabian Business repported.

The Gulf kingdom's National Committee of Recruitment of the Council of Saudi Chambers said in comments reported by Saudi Press Agency that discussions will focus on the labour issue, without giving any further details.

Last year, Sri Lanka said it would gradually stop allowing women going to Saudi Arabia to be housemaids after a Sri Lankan were executed in the country over the death of an infant in her care.

Sri Lanka recalled its envoy to Saudi Arabia in response to the beheading in January 2013 of Rizana Nafeek, who was sentenced to death in 2007 accused of killing her employer's daughter while she was bottle-feeding.

But earlier this year, Saudi Arabia said it was eying new labour agreements covering domestic workers from six countries including Sri Lanka in the next phase of the kingdom’s historic workplace relations reforms.

More than half-a-million foreign workers fled their employers in Saudi Arabia last year, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The expats, mostly low-paid workers such as maids, drivers and labourers, were reported as runaways by their employers.

Disputes between employers and employees are common in the kingdom, where expats make up about one-third of the entire population of 28 million and workers have few rights compared to international standards.

Several labour exporting nations have at times banned their citizens from working in the kingdom over disputes relating to workers’ rights.

Last year, it was reported that the kingdom had announced new rules to protect the rights of domestic helpers, including that employers pay domestic helpers the agreed monthly salary without delay and give them a day off each week.

Employers are also required to provide domestic helpers with suitable accommodation, as well as granting them time to rest for at least nine hours each day, local media reported.

Under the new guidelines, workers are entitled to paid sick leave and a one-month paid vacation after putting in two years of work as well as end of service compensation equal to one month’s salary after four years.

The employer has no right to compel domestic helpers to do a job that does not come under the purview of the labor contract. The regulations also prevent the employer from forcing the worker to do any jobs that are harmful to his/her health.

Penalties included a one-year recruitment ban or SR2, 000 ($533.23) fine or both, with repeat offenders facing a SR5,000 fine and three-year to permanent recruitment ban.

  Comments - 25

  • Ajwad Saturday, 30 August 2014 06:52 AM

    We should stop sending maids to any country. This is cause of breaking down of so many families. We should try to export skilled labors whether male or females.

    SL Citizen Saturday, 30 August 2014 07:19 AM

    Stop sending women as housemaids !. Stop this slave trade !. Our rulers keep quite and hide all the true factors about the fate of these housemaids who goes to middle east. Why? because if not for them the Goverment will have no money to pay for the interest of the foreign loans they borrowed to build highways, airports, and all other unnecessary expenses.

    Andre Saturday, 30 August 2014 07:27 AM

    The inhuman treatment of all workers will continue whatever new labour agreement Saudi is "eyeing" and I advise the Sri Lanka government to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

    tony Saturday, 30 August 2014 07:33 AM


    ladybird Saturday, 30 August 2014 08:17 AM

    We can recommed to send our housemaids to hell but not to Saudi Arabia.

    howard Saturday, 30 August 2014 08:30 AM

    these house maids have to work from early morning to late at night -as arabs go to sleep well after midnight
    The size of the family can be as much as twenty -as 4 or 5 brothers will live in the same building with their wives and children and maid has to all the work
    Some educated Arabs are ok but the majority think of domestic workers as slaves-just check with the SL enbassys in Saudi as to number of runaway maids -the police will return the maid back to the same place without investigation
    india no longer sends their women there

    Jayantha Saturday, 30 August 2014 09:06 AM

    Sri Lankans must be ashamed of enjoying with the money earned from house maids working in many countries. They spend a slave life and their families have destroyed. If we are a Great Nation we must be able to take care of our women. If we enjoy while many thousands of our mothers and sisters are slaves we are a very very worse nation. Can anybody live with their head raised?

    Crow Saturday, 30 August 2014 09:32 AM


    jagath Medisn Saturday, 30 August 2014 09:39 AM

    Never send Housemaid s to Saudi Arabia or any other arabic countries , they dont know how to treat woman or any human beings

    Kumudu Saturday, 30 August 2014 10:53 AM

    Shame on ministers to accept such low penalties for agents Shame on our leaders spend on importing cars, paying FDI out of labour trade..

    La vérité en fin Saturday, 30 August 2014 11:21 AM

    Why do those Saudis (their women) need maids in the first place? The answer is quite simple: They are unwilling themselves to learn to cook, clean their houses, and do the chores of an ordinary household. In sum bluntly: They DO want slaves of a seemingly lesser culture. Their wealth corrupts them, and the maids' income back to Sri Lanka has corrupted this country and often ruined the families of the maids.

    La vérité en fin Saturday, 30 August 2014 11:23 AM

    If he has a maid in his household, my guess would be he pays her/him 20 thousand, perhaps even less.

    Yoga Saturday, 30 August 2014 11:24 AM

    [quote name="ladybird"]We can recommend to send our housemaids to hell but not to Saudi Arabia.[/quote]

    There is no problem in sending maids...but, like other govt in middle east, SL govt should take immediate action whenever there is conflict between the employee & employer.

    And minimum wage set for maids are too low compare to the other nationalities like Philippines.....this has to be increase....

    Foreign Bureau ( FB ) is charging big amount from those low paid workers as insurance...but, in most of the cases FB dont take any action and even if they take, it will be snail pace....

    Lara Saturday, 30 August 2014 11:30 AM

    Please stop sending House-Maid to any country. Its not got our country's image. Ensure you provide something to them in Sri Lanka . They go for Rs 18000/- per months . To earn Rs 600 per day. Can they earn the same in Sri Lanka.

    if not something very worng !!!!!!!. when billion of dollers are used for infrastructure projects

    shekan Saturday, 30 August 2014 11:34 AM

    Can anyone stop sending maid ! Its impossible task the government is such which they cant survive with one man earning in sri lanka so they need to be slave in middle east

    Titanic Sunday, 31 August 2014 05:23 AM

    family in srilanka affected their children. pls up lift our economy in our country so that these poor maid can find work at home and live happly via DM Android App

    zorro Sunday, 31 August 2014 10:46 AM

    half a million runaway laborors... it says the labor conditions in Saudi Arabia and they should not wonder why the people does not want to work for this pundits!

    Milton Silva Saturday, 30 August 2014 12:07 PM

    [quote name="ladybird"]We can recommed to send our housemaids to hell but not to Saudi Arabia.[/quote]

    Then send them to Israel.

    Bertram Badcock Saturday, 30 August 2014 12:21 PM

    Sri Lankan politicians will sell their souls and the country to the Devil if they can for a few dollars.

    peace Sunday, 31 August 2014 06:59 AM

    Stop sending to KSA. Allow work with James Baker both same.

    Sylvia Haik Saturday, 30 August 2014 01:05 PM

    We cannot ignore the advantages but it is imperative our maids get treated as civilised human beings with basic human rights. Short of applying local Labour laws to all foreign workers, the pledges these Saudi officials make is committed into law and the Saudi employers abide by them. Otherwise they don't mean a thing.

    Jamalji Saturday, 30 August 2014 01:10 PM

    As long as KSA is under sharia, maids should be discouraged to go there. Under sharia, master’s voice is recognised. Hundreds of maids are in jail after having beaten and tortured. Asian countries do not send maids. KSA agents are here to purchase maids but not to recruit. Must not go with the leper for a packet of rice.

    idroos2002 Sunday, 31 August 2014 03:08 AM

    Your Excellency the president please do not sell the pride of our country

    wasantha Saturday, 30 August 2014 05:38 AM

    We should not send House-maids to Saudi Arabia. If sending the Sri-lanka Government should take full responsibility on the employees. A minimum salary should be $500.

    zuh Sunday, 31 August 2014 10:33 AM

    dear fellow readers let us pass a message through this comments column to the authorities that STOP SENDING WOMENS AS HOUSE MAIDS.. via DM Android App

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