Foreign domestic workers must be allowed to enter Jordan to avoid sector collapse — association

165 recruitment offices in the sector have been closed for over three months due to measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

  
Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/ColorBlind Images

AMMAN — President of the Domestic Helpers Recruitment Association (DHRA) Khaled Hseinat on Monday called on the government to allow foreign domestic workers to travel to the Kingdom in order to prevent the sector from collapsing due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our sector is on the brink of collapse since we were hit hard and we call on the government to facilitate the travel of foreign domestic workers from at least one country,” Hseinat told The Jordan Times.

According to the DHRA president, the sector has been among those most affected by the pandemic, with the closure of 165 offices for over three months.

“The chances of reopening these offices are very slim given the current situation,” he said.

“We estimate our losses at JD10-12 million, and at the same time we realise that the government is trying its best to help many sectors during these difficult times and we do hope that it would do the same for us within public health and safety protocols,” Hseinat added.

In the case that the government allows domestic workers to enter the Kingdom, arrivals can be treated “like any other individuals arriving in Jordan” and will be administered a coronavirus test and then quarantined as a precaution, according to Hseinat.

He added that the government’s financial support has been distributed to other sectors and “we hope that we will get some support in the near future until our airport and other airports open again”.

“We have around 70,000 domestic helpers in Jordan and some who want to return home but are unable to do so because of the many constraints. This is another point to be considered by the government,” Hseinat said.

Other solutions to help the ailing sector include providing adequate time for recruitment agencies to pay bank guarantees, postponing tax dues for the sector by at least one year with installments beginning next year and obliging the Social Security Corporation to pay the salaries of workers in the sector, he said.

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