Friday, June 7, 2013

New rules for domestic workers

The Saudi Government's Ministry of Labor has now issued new rules for domestic workers. When you actually go through the list of these new rules, you would find that there is hardly any room for cheer for these poor expats.

Probably no other category of expats working in Saudi Arabia deserve more sympathy and attention than domestic workers. They have been continuously ill-treated, over-worked, under-paid and in many cases physically and sexually abused by their sponsors. Just take a look at the number of runaway maids from various countries and you will know what I mean. And day after day, like ostriches, the establishment digs its head deeper into the sand wishing that the problem would go away.

The labor ministry finally decided to give these modern-day slaves a weekly day off or at least agreed to let it be so on paper. Oh, but what about the masters and their families? Who will take care of their kids if these slaves run away? Here comes the rider. The domestic helps can take a weekly off, but if they have to go out, they must do so only with their sponsors' families. If they prefer not to do so, they can take their weekly off by staying at home.  Every heard of a weekly off where you are supposed to go to your office, but need not work? The chairman of the National Committee for Recruitment (ever heard of this organization??) says, "The regulation allows the domestic helps or drivers to enjoy their weekend day off...". Some weekly off and some enjoyment. These guys certainly have a sense of humor.

Now take a closer look at the new rule. If the domestic worker is a male, he is allowed to go anywhere he likes during his weekly off, but if the worker is a female, she has to necessarily stay at home. So what did you expect in the Kingdom of Humanity?

Meanwhile, embassies are gearing up for the mass exodus of workers from the kingdom. The Indian embassy has announced various helpline numbers. Starting today, a team of Arabic speaking officers and volunteers will be stationed at the Riyadh deportation center (Tarheel) and at Riyadh airport, 24 hours a day. The Tarheel helpline numbers are 0546843866 / 94 / 36 and 0546843903. At Riyadh International airport, the helpline numbers are 0546843922 / 3919 / 3734 / 3750 and 0548981774.

The Indian embassy has also announced that the last date for submission of new Emergency Certificate applications is 20th June.

The deadline issued by SriLankan embassy is 15th June (Phone numbers: 0114608232 / 235). Filipino citizens can search their passport by clicking on this link (click here), while Nepalese can search the same by clicking here.

With less than a month to go for the expiry of the grace period, there seems to be no hint, at least at this point of time, for any extension of deadline. It is going to be a nightmare considering that there are still thousands of expats waiting for their turn to get out.




14 comments:

Shaiku said...

Thank You, the numbers will be helpful for many people leaving the Kingdom...

Shamim Rahman said...

Greetings, This is really a helpful Article. Thank you very much for this. I would like to bring to your attention regarding something which you might aware of. As per the news, during the grace period every is entitled to change their profession even the domestic workers like house drivers. I am working here in a company as an IT expert my profession is House driver. In order to change it, First i went to the labor office with my certificates and they have given me a recommendation letter for changing my profession as "computer technician" profession. Later on, I had sent my passport to Jawazat along with the letter obtained from labor office for changing my profession. Unfortunately, Jawazat is not taking my passport they are saying that house driver profession is unchangeable. But as per the news, House drivers are also supposed to get the chance to change the profession. Therefore, can you please let me know whether its really true that House drivers can't change the profession? Thanks in advance.

Expatguru said...

Shamim,

It is certainly possible to change your profession during the grace period. Maybe there was some other reason for rejecting your case. Try again. Please note that after the grace period, if you are caught with a wrong profession, you will not only be fined heavily but also imprisoned and deported, so please act immediately. If it is still impossible to change your profession, go on exit and return on a fresh visa. Discuss with your employer in detail.

Vivian said...

Thank you for the information on this blog. I'd wanted to ask: Is it possible for a dependent woman who goes on vacation to come back on a work visa with a company?

I had posted this question before but couldn't find the answer.

Thank you again for your help through this blog!

Expatguru said...

Vivian,

Please fill in your query through the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

Anonymous said...

There was a time I've entertained the thought of visiting Arab countries. Having lived, read and seen what I have since then - I've concluded that I had to be an ignorant, bloody fool to ever be curious. Talk about evil empire!!!

Abdulaziz said...

Do you have a web link for these new rules?

Expatguru said...

Abdulaziz,

I do not have any web link. I am not part of the Saudi Government. But I do a lot of research and verify every single statement I make in my blog personally before publishing it. Which is why this blog has over a million visitors.

Mohammed said...

Dear Expatguru,

I am one of your keen follower of your blog and a registered member for many years. I have seen this blog growing from a small number to a present form. The blog is the most popular amount the expat community and among the aspirants who are planning to come Saudi and want more information.

As always when we want some useful information but when we fail to get from any where we turn to you for your help.

I need to ask you a question, if you can make your favourable reply I will be very happy and pleased.

Two years back my Inlaws came in the Kingdom on Driver and Maid Visa, The person under whom these visas issued where a doctor who suppose to be a family friend. Over some different with my friend (doctor) who put my inlaws in hurub (runaway) finally my inlaws left from the kingdom through Tarheel process. AS process required they have given there finger print before living. Now I want to invite them on Visit Visa. I am entitle for visit visa as my profession is good and staying with my family. I want to ask whether they will be allowed in Kingdom on Visit Visa to stay as visitor for few months. Will there be any problem in New Delhi for stamping of visa as they will come on the same passport and if they manage to get the visa stamped will there be any problem at the airport. As I recently get to know that they have relaxed the rules for Hurub (runaway) and I get to know people now going through Tarheel can return to Kingdom if they want.

Looking forward to see your reply

Expatguru said...

Mohammed,

Thanks for your kind sentiments. I request you to please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

Anonymous said...

I am a house driver in dammam my kafeel is not gave me complete salary he gave me only 1200 riyals this is my 5th month he said dont say for salary i wil send you india....and he is not give my passport...dear sir please help me what i do i am alone...

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Contact your embassy immediately who will guide you further.

jabir said...

i am a house driver in riyadh i want to go exit.my kafeel said me you can go exit but i am not give your licence.he say that is the law of saudi.dear sir pls can you help me what can i do

Expatguru said...

Jabir,

Be happy he is allowing you to go on exit. No license? Kalli Valli. You know driving, so you can get a new license in another country easily. Just say okay to him and arrange for your exit quickly.