New rules planned for GCC’s manpower firms
Manama, December 14, 2011
New regulations were currently being drawn between GCC member states to end conflicting procedures that had led to varying rates for housemaids despite being from the same country, said a senior government official from Bahrain.
Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan said the GCC was currently exploring new labour markets considering ongoing problems with existing housemaid providers.
Humaidan added that the new regulations are set to be introduced within the next two months.
'We know that there are problems currently being faced by manpower agencies and we have sat with them and discovered that they were not at fault in most cases,' he said.
Humaidan was responding to a question by parliament legislative and legal affairs committee chairman Ahmed Al Mulla on the varying rates at manpower agencies.
'The cost of getting housemaids has skyrocketed because of problems with providing countries - whether it is mafia interferences, the need to get required formalities done or commissions taken by scouts,' said the minister.
'I agree with you that varying rates is a problem, but they will be solved when we introduce common GCC procedures that manpower agencies can follow.
'Even then, there will be varying rates for housemaids from the same country, but it will not be as much as what we see now - the problem with the providing country will still continue,' he added.
Humaidan said Bahrain and other GCC countries were looking to solve the problem of shortages of housemaids in the market to meet demand.
'We are exploring new markets in Africa besides other countries, which I can't disclose now, and if we reach an agreement, then things will begin to improve,' he said.
Meanwhile, Humaidan dismissed accusations by Al Asala MP Abdulhaleem Murad that sectarianism was being practised in dispensing unemployment allowances or the distribution of jobs.
'The country doesn't need sectarianism at the moment and the MP should tone his language,' he said.
'I am not favouring Shi'ites over Sunnis - there are procedures that we follow and those that fall under the criteria get the allowance and others that don't we reject.
'Job opportunities have reduced since the unrest and the labour market is like any other one, it is affected by problems,' he added. – TradeArabia News Service