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Sri Lanka sets minimum recruitment cost amid escalating domestic worker shortage

The shortage of domestic workers is spiraling out of control and to add insult to injury the government of Sri Lanka is said to have issued a circular through the Association of Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Agencies which has identified 600 dinars as the minimum cost for recruiting Sri Lankan workers, with a notable provision that only 50 percent of this amount will be refunded in case the worker escapes or refuses to work within the initial 6-month testing period.

Bassam Al-Shammari, an expert in domestic worker affairs, expressed concerns to Al-Jarida, stating that the specified minimum recruitment cost of 600 dinars applies to workers aged 45 and above, while those between 21 and 45 years old will have a minimum recruitment cost of 700 dinars.

Al-Shammari emphasized that additional expenses incurred by local offices after the worker’s arrival in Kuwait bring the total cost to around 780 dinars. This, coupled with the absence of an appropriate profit margin, makes recruitment financially unviable.

Detailing the news, Al-Jarida confirmed its earlier report which was published on Jan 10 under the title ‘Domestic Worker Crisis with the Approach of Ramadan’.

The report indicated that Sri Lankan domestic worker export offices had informed their Kuwaiti counterparts to temporarily halt new worker exports until the completion of the study of the Minister of Trade and Industry’s decision (2/2024).

This decision set the maximum recruitment price, including the travel ticket, at 750 dinars for workers with experience or new contracts.

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