(Arab News ) JEDDAH: Four thousand Djibouti workers are expected to arrive in the Kingdom over the next few months following the labor pact signed between the two countries last month.
Speaking to a local publication recently, Djibouti Ambassador Diaa Eddin Saeed Bamakhrama said employers have to pay a minimum monthly salary of SR800 with no cap, and a maximum of SR7,000 in recruitment costs.
The governments of the two countries would work to ensure that there are no drastic changes to the costs involved, Bamakhrama was quoted as saying. The workers arriving in the Kingdom would include maids, drivers and other domestic workers, he said.
Bamakhrama said Djibouti workers do not need extensive training, their language is similar to Arabic, they are Muslim, and share many of the traditions and customs of Arab societies. All workers would have to undergo medical tests before heading to the Kingdom, he said.
The Kingdom signed labor agreements with Djibouti and Niger earlier this month on the sidelines of the 104th session of the International Labor Organization.
Saudi Arabia has now signed labor agreements for the recruitment of domestic workers with eight nations including the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The Kingdom started issuing visas for Bangladeshi domestic workers beginning April 20. This follows a recruitment pact signed in March between the two governments.
Ahmed Al-Fahaid, deputy labor minister for international affairs, and Bangladesh Minister for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Khandker Mosharraf Hossain signed the agreement in Dhaka.
Bangladeshi workers are required to be in good health, have no criminal convictions and training in their professions. They must also be aware of the Kingdom’s religious and cultural environment and labor regulations.
At present, there are 1.2 million Bangladeshi workers in the Kingdom. The Kingdom recently lifted a 2008 ban on the hiring of workers from that country.
The Kingdom expects the agreements signed would streamline recruitment procedures, control costs, and facilitate and expedite procedures for the arrival of domestic workers.
Saudi Arabia’s Labor Ministry wants to limit the involvement of intermediaries in the recruitment process. The ministry now receives workers’ complaints in Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Bahasa, Tagalog, Amharic, Malayalam and Bangla.