Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kuwait.. India New Maid . Labor amendments see opposition from Kuwait

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Kuwait-India labour stand-off looms large


A labour stand-off is looming large between Kuwait and India over a decision by New Delhi to ask for a $2,500 (Dh9,182) bank guarantee from any employer in the Gulf country who wishes to hire an Indian domestic helper.


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India said that the bank guarantee would be used “for the repatriation of the housemaid and other unpaid expenses like salary, medical expenses... in case the employer fails to pay the same as per the terms of the agreement.”

“The bank guarantee is to be submitted in original to the Embassy of India,” the embassy said. “On termination of the employment contract at any time by mutual consent, the employer should bring the domestic worker to the Embassy of India and submit a written request for a refund of the bank guarantee before the final departure of the domestic worker to India. The domestic worker would be required to confirm in writing that all her dues have been settled. Should the domestic worker complain of non-receipt of her dues, the Embassy would deduct the same from the bank guarantee.”

However, Kuwaitis have refused the new Indian conditions and the stance gained new dimensions amid reports that Kuwait might consider suspending the recruitment of manpower from India in retaliation for the bank guarantee decision.
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The reports said that several lawmakers were pushing to take a firm stance against India over the recruitment of Indian helpers, arguing that the bank guarantee was a violation of the laws and norms.

According to the lawmakers, the protection of expatriates and their rights is the duty of the state, and not embassies.

One lawmaker said that accepting the Indian condition would encourage other embassies in Kuwait to adopt similar measures.
Kuwait


The Indian community is the largest in Kuwait with around 750,000 people, including 270,000 domestic helpers.

 By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief

Gulf News 2014. All rights reserved.

Manama: A labour stand-off is looming large between Kuwait and India over a decision by New Delhi to ask for a $2,500 (Dh9,182) bank guarantee from any employer in the Gulf country who wishes to hire an Indian domestic helper.

India said that the bank guarantee would be used “for the repatriation of the housemaid and other unpaid expenses like salary, medical expenses... in case the employer fails to pay the same as per the terms of the agreement.”

“The bank guarantee is to be submitted in original to the Embassy of India,” the embassy said. “On termination of the employment contract at any time by mutual consent, the employer should bring the domestic worker to the Embassy of India and submit a written request for a refund of the bank guarantee before the final departure of the domestic worker to India. The domestic worker would be required to confirm in writing that all her dues have been settled. Should the domestic worker complain of non-receipt of her dues, the Embassy would deduct the same from the bank guarantee.”

However, Kuwaitis have refused the new Indian conditions and the stance gained new dimensions amid reports that Kuwait might consider suspending the recruitment of manpower from India in retaliation for the bank guarantee decision.

The reports said that several lawmakers were pushing to take a firm stance against India over the recruitment of Indian helpers, arguing that the bank guarantee was a violation of the laws and norms.

According to the lawmakers, the protection of expatriates and their rights is the duty of the state, and not embassies.

One lawmaker said that accepting the Indian condition would encourage other embassies in Kuwait to adopt similar measures.

The Indian community is the largest in Kuwait with around 750,000 people, including 270,000 domestic helpers.


Lawmakers united in stance against Indian Embassy decision on maids Kuwait eyes recruitment from Indonesia
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 5: Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passport Affairs Sheikh Mazen Al- Jarrah will soon meet with officials from the Indian Embassy to discuss about the Indian government’s decision to demand from sponsors KD 720 bank guarantee in order to recruit Indian domestic workers, reliable sources say.
They affirmed that this amount will be returned to the sponsor when the Indian domestic worker agrees to complete the contract with the employer and his/her residency is issued.
The sources explained that the laborer can decide to either work under the sponsor in the country or leave after the three-month probation if he or she is unhappy with the employment, after which the bank guarantee will be returned to the sponsor or the employee will be given his dues.
In the same context, a number of lawmakers have demanded the Indian Embassy issue an official apology and reconsider the decision to demand bank guarantee from sponsors due to lack of justification for taking such a decision.
They stressed that the decision is unacceptable because the Kuwaiti law provides sufficient protection to all communities, insisting that the matter is not among the powers of the embassy but is in the hands of the Kuwaiti government. In this vein, MP Kamel Al-Awadhi affirmed the keenness of most lawmakers regarding this case, indicating that they are united in their stance against the decision of the Indian Embassy.
He demanded the government to suspend issuance of work permits and visit visas to Indians and pave way for recruiting domestic workers from other countries particularly since there are more than 720,000 Indian expatriates in the country. Al-Awadhi urged Kuwaiti citizens and families to support the government and lawmakers in this regard and stop recruiting Indian domestic workers in order to apply pressure on the Indian government which has put its community in such a position without benefiting from it.
He commended the officials from Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their statements through which they declared to strictly confront the decision of the Indian embassy and suspend the recruitment of Indian personnel in order to refuse any manipulation with the rights of the Kuwaiti citizens. He added that the decision of the Indian embassy will increase the cost of hiring an Indian domestic worker to KD 3,000, which will vastly increase the financial burdens of the citizens.
Al-Awadhi hailed the decision taken by Kuwaiti authorities to coordinate with the GCC countries’ embassies to arrive at a unified stance regarding this decision of the Indian government.
Furthermore, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are coordinating with the concerned Indonesian authorities to recruit Indonesian domestic workers into the country from the beginning of 2015, They explained that Jakarta, two years ago, had stopped sending domestic workers to Kuwait because of the problems that female Indonesian domestic workers faced in the country.
They revealed that the two sides are coordinating to provide the required legal and financial guarantees for the Indonesian domestic laborers based on the deal that they intend to agree on. In addition, the sources disclosed the Nepali authorities have stopped sending domestic workers to Kuwait due to unspecified reasons.

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