Resolution On Filipino Maids Shortage In UAE On The Horizon

December 11, 2014 News
Rosalinda Baldoz, Philippine Labour Secretary, visits the labour office on December 4, 2014, where she is introduced to the recently launched skills programmes and improvements in facilities.

Rosalinda Baldoz, Philippine Labour Secretary, visits the labour office on December 4, 2014, where she is introduced to the recently launched skills programmes and improvements in facilities.

Dubai: A resolution on the shortage of Filipino maids in the UAE is on the horizon as both the UAE and the Philippine governments have started the process of negotiations in the standardisation of employment contracts to start maid redeployment.

Hiring new housemaids directly from the Philippines has stopped since June due to conflicting recruitment rules from the UAE and labour-sending countries like the Philippines. The issue arose when the Ministry of Interior introduced a unified contract for domestic workers leading to the suspension of various embassies’ role in verifying and attesting contracts, including the Philippines.

Labour-sending countries like the Philippines insist that based on their domestic laws, they reserve the right to verify and record these contracts to protect their workers. The suspension of verification in effect meant no maids could be hired from the Philippines legally.

In her visit to the UAE last week, Philippine Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz re-emphasised that there is no deployment ban for maids. But there has been progress in the negotiations between the UAE and her government, she said.

“We already have a general understanding on how maids should be treated and this should be stated clearly in the terms and conditions in the standard contract that both governments will agree and adhere to. The negotiations are ongoing and both sides have now formed technical panels for the discussions,” Baldoz told reporters.

Baldoz, however, clarified that they are currently doing the negotiations with the Ministry of Labour, as opposed to before when all issues pertaining to domestic workers are under the Ministry of Interior.

Baldoz said there is no clear time-frame when a resolution or an agreement will be made. She likened the process with the negotiations the Philippine government had with Saudi Arabia. Both countries signed a historic agreement in May last year to protect thousands of Filipina maids from being exploited in the Middle Eastern kingdom.

Based on the agreement, Filipina maids will get one day off weekly, will be paid a minimum of $400 (Dh1,468), and hiring costs will not be deducted from their salary, among other safeguards.

“The whole negotiation process with Saudi Arabia took about one year,” Baldoz said.

“We do not know how long negotiations with the UAE will take but we have been given the impression that their government wants a resolution as soon as possible.”

Source: gulfnews.com