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Saudi Arabia

Insurance not compulsory for Lankan maids

Saudi employers will not join a social insurance scheme providing coverage for them and their Sri Lankan domestic workers, until issues over its implementation are resolved. This has been agreed by the island nation’s umbrella recruitment body after requests from the Saudi Embassy in Colombo.
The insurance scheme provides protection for both employers and workers traveling to the Kingdom for the first time. For domestic workers it includes payouts for death, disability, abuse and nonpayment of salaries. For Saudi employers, there are payouts for recruitment costs and air tickets if workers abandon their jobs.
The Saudi Embassy in Colombo had specifically urged the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment not to insist on the new scheme, the International Social Security Program, which was launched on April 2 for new domestic workers and house drivers.
Sami Attar Establishment is the local partner for the program in the Kingdom. The company also has an office in Colombo.
At a meeting held last week at the Council of Saudi Chambers, chairman of the Saudi National Recruitment Committee Saad Al-Baddah said his committee had earlier agreed on the implementation of the insurance policy.
However, he was not satisfied with the approval process. The policy should protect the rights of citizens and government agencies should have been consulted prior to its implementation, Al-Baddah said.

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