After several months of placing the recruitment of domestic helpers in Bahrain on hold due to the pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced that the Gulf nation has resumed its recruitment of foreign domestic helpers on September 14.
DOLE said that the Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LRMA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain announced the development one month after the renewal of the issuance of work permits of expatriate skilled workers last August 9.
Bahrain Resumes Recruitment of Domestic Helpers, Filipino Helpers Most Preferred – Bello
Based on a report sent to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Bahrain said Filipino workers are preferred by most employers in the kingdom in reopening their doors to migrant workers, the Manila Bulletin reported.
In a statement last Tuesday, Sept. 15, the labor department stated that the LRMA’s Preventive Inspection Director Ahmed Junaid said recruitment agencies made random interviews among employers in Bahrain where Filipino workers emerged as the most preferred among migrant workers from other countries.
Based on the January-June 2020 Report of Congress to POLO–Bahrain, the number of Filipino domestic workers in the Kingdom dropped sharply by 9 percent. From 18,663 domestic workers in 2019, only 16,576 remained as of June 2020.
As the number of recruitment documents submitted to POLO-Bahrain for processing confirms this trend, recruitment agencies expect that the huge gap in the demand specifically for domestic workers will be filled up by Filipino workers.
Meanwhile, the POLO in Bahrain echoed the warning given by the LRMA to would-be employers of domestic workers to refrain from engaging the services of unlicensed expatriate employees’ employment offices (DEEEOs) in hiring domestic workers.
“This is to ensure that mitigation measures against the spread of COVID-19 are strictly followed and workers’ rights are upheld and protected,” POLO Bahrain explained.
The warning came after 61 recruitment agencies were recently investigated in a series of raids jointly conducted by LRMA and the Interior Ministry, where the agencies were found to have been operating without a license and were hiring run-away domestic workers of various nationalities, to provide hourly cleaning services.
According to Junaid, unlicensed manpower agencies move domestic workers from one household to another, posing a major threat to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and prompting the government of Bahrain to take legal action against these erring agencies and their employees.
In line with this, the LRMA also noted that the shortage in the supply of domestic workers in Bahrain lured some to abscond and withdraw from their employment contracts that caused the proliferation of hourly-paid cleaning services in Bahrain.
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