Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kathmandu lifted ban on housemaids-Nepalese domestic workers allowed to work in Middle East


Nepalese female domestic workers have started coming to the UAE after Nepal lifted the ban on their employment in the Middle East including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The Nepalese Embassy in the capital receives on average six applications each working day ,most of sponsors are from Dubai; about 80 per cent are Indian expatriates and others are Western nationals of Indian origin, Europeans and Emiratis, said Deepak Adhikari, charge d'affaires.

So far more than 100 women domestic workers have arrived in the UAE, he said.

Although the ban was lifted as of June 6 last year the new regulations for recruitment were framed later and announced in November, the diplomat said.People came to learn about it recently and the number of applications started increasing from early this year, he said.

Although the ban has been lifted, the Nepalese government has put stringent regulations on the foreign employment of housemaids, he said.

The Department of Foreign Employment in Kathmandu has to give a Foreign Employment Permit to a prospective domestic worker to go abroad for employment, based on the attestation of relevant documents by the Nepalese Embassy in the host country, the diplomat said.

A prospective sponsor must submit about 14 documents including a police report proving a clean criminal record, salary certificate showing a minimum Dh10,000 monthly income, excluding cost of accommodation, and an undertaking to pay a minimum Dh900 monthly salary to the housemaid in addition to food and accommodation.

A Dh5,000 refundable security deposit must also be paid at the embassy, he said.

Nepal banned the employment of domestic workers in the Middle East after complaints of harassment, the diplomat said.But Kathmandu decided to lift the ban last year because many Nepalese women were illegally coming to the Middle East via neighbouring countries to work as domestic help, he said.

The female domestic workers who came to the UAE before June 6 must regularise their status in accordance with the new regulations, Adhikari explained.

The stringent regulations for new recruitment are meant to prevent mistreatment of women, he said.
Among the 14 documents required to sponsor a housemaid, a marriage certificate is demanded from a male sponsor only, he said.Unmarried female sponsors are allowed to recruit housemaids.The police clearance report will ensure that the sponsor does not have a criminal background, Adhikari said.