A specialist in domestic labor affairs, Bassam Al-Shammari, said the owners of Ethiopian domestic labor export offices are visiting Addis Ababa to get first hand information about the labor market, and to conclude initial contracts with local offices for the recruitment of domestic workers and other labor, stressing that this step heralds a breakthrough in the Kuwaiti-Ethiopian memorandum of understanding regulating the recruitment of workers from Ethiopia.

Al-Shammari told a local Arabic daily the Ethiopian embassy in the country is about to open its new headquarters in the Funaitees area next August, which will pave the way for the opening of a new market for the recruitment of labor to fill the severe shortage that Kuwait is currently suffering from.

He explained many local offices are waiting for the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the two sides, and then the conclusion of initial recruitment contracts known as ‘job order’ with their counterparts in Addis Ababa.

In the meantime Al-Shammari stressed that allowing the recruitment of Ethiopian workers will strike a balance in the domestic labor market, and solve the problems of shortage, especially since salaries of Ethiopians are low and will not put a burden on the citizens and residents.

Meanwhile, he revealed a decision has been issued by the Philippine government to raise the age of recruitment of female households workers to 24 years old and above instead of 23.

In addition, Al-Shammari considered that the most prominent difficulties and obstacles facing recruitment at the present time are the increase in the prices of airline tickets, which jumped to fictional prices, almost 300 percent, in light of the continuation of the recent decision of the Ministry of Commerce, to limit the costs of recruiting domestic workers to no more than 890 dinars, stressing the need to raise the costs of recruiting such workers, after examining the cost studies submitted to address the negative effects of the aforementioned decision on the labor market, which constitutes a continuation of the financial losses incurred by offices and companies over the past two years.

Al-Shammari called on the relevant government agencies, such as the Ministry of Interior and the Public Authority for Manpower, to issue a decision allowing domestic workers to move from one employer to another in the event of a labor dispute between the two parties, and the worker’s unwillingness to continue with her sponsor while preserving all rights of female domestic workers guaranteed by law, stressing that deportation should not be the first step to be taken, “it must be preceded by serious attempts to benefit from the worker by re-employing her, and in the event that this is not possible, she must receive all her dues before leaving.”

He warned against the aggravation of the phenomenon of withholding the identification documents of domestic workers, which is a clear violation of the articles of Law 68/2015 regarding domestic workers, “not to mention its conflict with the international agreements ratified by Kuwait regarding human rights in general and migrant workers in particular.”

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