Maid contracts should be standardised, says UAE minister
ABU DHABI // Standard contracts could be the answer for sponsors unhappy with high recruitment fees for maids, the FNC has heard.
Sultan Al Mansouri, head of the Higher Committee for Consumer Protection, told the council on Tuesday that he was aware recruitment fees had risen in the past few years.
Mr Al Mansouri, also the Minister of Economy, said the ministries of Labour and the Interior were responsible for controlling the situation, and more collaboration was needed.
“I agree, there is an increase in fees for bringing maids over for the past three years,” he said. “There should be more coordination.”
Many residents have lodged complaints with his committee against recruitment agencies, Mr Al Mansouri said.
“I would like to clarify, it is part of the Ministry of Labour’s job to oversee and supervise these agencies and to bring labourers in,” he said.
Several agencies were working to resolve the situation after a high number of complaints were received last year, Mr Al Mansouri said. One would be for the two ministries to introduce a standard contract for domestic workers.
“Hopefully they will follow through the recommendations,” he said.
He said most of the maids brought in by UAE sponsors were from nine countries, and agency fees were as high as Dh12,000.
Most of these fees, and the rise in costs, paid for training maids before they came to the UAE, health checks and travel tickets, Mr Al Mansouri said.
Other costs once they arrived were also included, he said.
FNC member Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman) said recruitment agencies were not transparent with their customers and sometimes took longer than they said to bring in labourers.
“Some have come to me and complained that there was no supervision over prices. They rise at different times of the year,” Mr Al Nuaimi said. “They coordinate with each other to raise their costs.”
Mr Al Mansouri said his committee’s role was to receive complaints and to investigate.
“Supervision is carried out by other entities,” he said. “Fines are not issued by us because they are governed by law.
“The Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Interior need to take care of this.”
Updated: March 4, 2014 04:00 AM