India Scraps Bank Guarantee Clause for Maids in Kuwait
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After much uproar from employers in Kuwait, India has scrapped with immediate effect the $2,500 (720 Kuwaiti Dinar) bank guarantee, which was made mandatory in 2014 while recruiting Indian nationals as domestic help workers. The bank guarantee was decided upon following frequent complaints relating to sexual assault and abuse from Indian female workers employed in Kuwait.
“The measure was withdrawn primarily because it was not acceptable for Kuwait and because it was proven to be ineffective,” Sunil Jain, India’s ambassador to Kuwait, said, Gulf News reported.
Labor Relations between India and Kuwait
India’s decision to mandate the bank guarantee became a hot debating point when it was implemented in 2014. Several Kuwaiti employers openly expressed their displeasure.
“Kuwait has regularly informed the Indian authorities that the local domestic labor law included all guarantees for helpers and prevented problems related to late or non-payment of salaries, working hours and runaways,” a diplomatic source told Kuwaiti daily Al Rai.
Jain says the new decision will help resume the annual flow of Indian housemaids to Kuwait to its former figure of 30,000 people. “Kuwaitis prefer Indian house maids because they have proven to be honest and hardworking,” he said, the Times of India reported.
The latest decision by India coincides with the Kuwait visit of MJ Akbar, the Minister of State for External Affairs, that starts on Sept. 18.
Guarantee was Welcomed by Indians
Under the bank guarantee rule, the Indian embassy received the guarantee equivalent to $2500 from the employer before enrolling an Indian worker to their service. The mandate also gave provisions to the employer to withdraw the guarantee amount once the female employee leaves the country.
In a recent interview with Al Rai, Fadel Ashkanani, the head of the Kuwaiti Union of Domestic Labour, said that the cancellation of the bank guarantee requirement will have direct impact on the fee in the domestic labor market,
Recruitments of female workers in Kuwait will now be controlled by six government recruitment agencies — Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants, Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department, Overseas Manpower Company Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh Financial Corporation, Overseas Manpower Corporation Limited, and the Telangana Overseas Manpower Company.