Bahrain MPs propose new firm to recruit maids

Company to come under the wings of Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund

  

A new company authorised to bring and recruit foreign housemaids and those carrying out similar tasks could be formed in Bahrain if MPs get their way.

The parliamentary proposal, spearheaded by five MPs led by services committee chairman and Al Asala (Salafi) Bloc president Ahmed Al Ansari, has been submitted officially to Parliament Speaker Fouzia Zainal.

It would see the company come under the wings of Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund.

Mr Al Ansari said the aim was to control the ‘growing cost’ of bringing and recruiting workers through manpower agencies.

“The prices of bringing and recruiting housemaids have reached inflated levels and most of the time they are returned back to the manpower agencies due to problems,” he said.

“Bahrainis and expats need housemaids to help them and they are subject to pricing exploitation.“

A new closed company under Mumtalakat would ensure the service was provided through competitive pricing, while also ensuring humane treatment for the workers and put a halt to human trafficking.”

He said the new company could provide the national economy with a huge boost and help reassure sponsors too.

“This company would provide necessary services through proper guarantees should housemaids run away, which current manpower agencies don’t care to resolve,” said Mr Al Ansari.

MPs unanimously approved an urgent proposal asking the government to take immediate action against runaway housemaids during last Tuesday’s session.

The proposal by five MPs was spearheaded by Khalid Bu Onk who believes the issue has spun out of control.

As reported in the GDN, Mr Bu Onk claimed that runaway housemaids mostly found hourly-paid jobs and once their visas expired, they surrendered to the police and asked to be sent home at the expense of their original sponsors.

The proposal will be now reviewed by the Cabinet.

The GDN reported earlier this month that African and Asian mafias were allegedly running rackets in Bahrain and luring workers away from the homes of their sponsors to take up alternative employment.

Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan, who addressed Parliament, urged families to only recruit housemaids from the country’s manpower agencies.

He earlier told Parliament that 2,596 runaway housemaids had been reported by employers over the last two years.mohammed@gdn.com.bh

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