Search form

Last updated: 13 min 36 sec ago

You are here

Saudi Arabia

Gulf ministers moot prior assessment of Asian workers

Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are seeking to recruit only highly skilled qualified workers and their job performance assessment will be done in the country of origin, according to a top official of the Labor Ministry. The Kingdom has also mooted a plan to pilot job assessments in certain professions, the official said.
Ahmed F. Al-Fahaid, deputy minister of labor for international relations who was in Kuwait to attend the 3rd dialogue between the GCC and Asian manpower exporting countries, told Arab News in a telephone conversation that all GCC member states intend to improve the quality of workers arriving from Asian countries and implement a proper mechanism to assess their qualifications for the job as well as have an effective mechanism to redress disputes between the employer and the employee.
The two-day ministerial dialogue began in Kuwait on Wednesday with the participation of labor ministers from the GCC and overseas employment affairs ministers from 11 countries. The Abu Dhabi Dialogue is an inter-regional forum on labor migration from Asian countries to GCC states and this meeting discussed the quality, welfare and the rising cost of recruitment.
“We are mooting the proposal to conduct a proper assessment of the candidate applying for the job with the help of some international organizations which will evaluate the candidates in the countries of origin,” Al-Fahaid said.
He also said that the GCC ministers had not discussed a minimum wage as reported in a section of the media. “There is no bar on salary which will be defined according to the candidate’s merit,” he added.
He said that the meeting had expressed concern at the rising cost of recruitment for domestic workers and also the deteriorating professional conduct of domestic workers arriving in the GCC. “We have requested Asian countries to provide training for domestic help, enhance their skills and orientation for the job prior to their arrival in the GCC,” Al-Fahaid told Arab News.
The deputy minister said that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman had agreed to the decision while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines from the Asian countries had offered to implement the assessment of workers and the mechanism for safeguarding both the employee and employer.
Lauding Saudi Arabia’s role in resolving disputes, Al-Faihad said that the Kingdom is an exemplary country in terms of redressing disputes among domestic workers and has moved to pass several reforms which have been welcomed by GCC member states.
He noted the Kingdom’s initiative for transparency, citing the recruitment of domestic workers online and the establishment of a 24-hour call center in several languages, which he said was one of the best in the region.
The minister also said that the “existing mechanism to safeguard the interests of both parties is better than those in other member states.”

MORE FROM Saudi Arabia