UAE and Philippine labour ministry officials are set to hold a second round of talks in the first quarter of 2016 aimed at lifting a ban on the recruitment of Filipino housemaids. In the UAE, employers have not been able to hire maids directly from the Philippines since June 2014 due to the conflicting recruitment rules of the two countries. The issues began when the UAE’s Ministry of Interior introduced a unified contract for domestic workers that led to the suspension of various embassies’ role in verifying and attesting contracts, including the Philippines’.
The Philippines, meanwhile, insists that it is obliged to check and record all of those contracts to protect their workers’ rights. Philippine labour officials visited the UAE recently to discuss possible solutions. Now, according to a report in Gulf News, the officials from both countries are meeting again next year to thrash out a solution. The date of the talks is not yet known but it is expected to be at some point in the first quarter of 2016.
Philippines’ labour attache Delmer Cruz was quoted as saying: “There were some provisions that were agreed upon on the UAE-issued unified contract. Others were referred for further discussions.
“We don’t expect the whole process to be completed within a short amount of time. It will all depend on what will be agreed upon.” Filipino housemaids are in demand in the UAE – as they are across the whole of the Gulf. They were bound in Saudi Arabia in 2011 following a disagreement over wages, but the ban was reportedly lifted the following year.