Shortage of domestic workers following the COVID-19 crisis in the country, which has still not been adequately overcome, has led to a severe scarcity of domestic helpers for households, especially during the month of Ramadan when demand for these workers reaches a peak.

In particular, the burden on Kuwaiti households that are totally reliant on domestic workers has been exacerbated by the shortage of workers, with many having to pay exorbitant prices to recruitment agencies. Current prices range upwards from KD1200 per worker, despite the government having set a ceiling of KD890 on recruitment agencies supplying domestic workers.

Besides the high prices, several reasons have been attributed to the shortage of helpers in households, including that some workers abscond from their sponsors when offered more lucrative salaries by unscrupulous illegal agents, as well as prevailing situation in the labor market where there is an acute shortage of craftsmen and helpers.
The earlier decision to ban the renewal of work permits for undergraduates aged 60 and over led to thousands of workers, many of them experienced craftsmen, leaving the country. This created a vacuum in the labor market, which domestic workers are now attempting to fill illegally, as they are not permitted to work in the labor market on a domestic worker visa.

For their part, some owners of domestic labor recruitment offices attribute the shortage of domestic workers to three main reasons — lack of strictness in implementing the law penalizing sponsors who shelter fugitive workers; not stressing on the real estate owners not to rent apartments to domestic workers because many of them fall in the category of criminals; and finally the conditions imposed on families to recruit domestic workers, which forces them to seek help from domestics who have escaped from their families.

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