MHRSD to extend ‘Ma’roufah’ App for recruitment of domestic workers to 3 new countries

During the coming period; the Ministry of Human Resources and further Social Development (MHRSD) intends to extend the “Ma’roufah” App for recruitment of domestic workers; to three new countries — Sri Lanka; Nepal; and Bangladesh — after the service achieving success on implementation on domestic workers from the Philippines; an official source at the MHRSD told Al-Eqtisadiah.

This comes at a time when the recruitment market in the Kingdom is witnessing some turmoil due to the rise in prices and recruitment companies and offices not abiding by the ministerial decisions; like the decision issued in May 2015; in order to set a ceiling for the cost of recruiting domestic workers from some countries; like Bangladesh and Niger; at a cost not exceeding SR7;000.

This has also contributed to the emergence of differences between the recruitment companies and offices; on one hand; and the ministry; on the other.

The first of these began with the companies and further offices rejecting the decision; alleging that it does not cover the recruitment costs.

Regulating recruitment

Then the recruitment companies and further offices used methods for circumventing the “Musaned” regulation; by entering fake prices on the website. They started using the actual prices only on the arrival of the beneficiary at their headquarters and signing the recruitment contract.

Since that time until the appearance of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; some companies and offices did not comply with the ministry’s prices; while the others refused to recruit workers from those countries on which the prices had been specified.

Hence; this matter contributed openly to recruitment offices placing their own prices on “Musaned” website; right under the nose of the ministry.

Meanwhile; Al-Eqtisadiah continued contacting the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and presented some queries on the recurrent non-compliance of some offices and companies with the ministry’s decisions and their setting their own prices openly on the “Musaned” website at present.

After the elapse of over 60 days; the ministry justified the rise in prices as due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the ministry did not explain why the recruitment offices did not abide by the price mentioned in the ministerial decision before the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monitoring violations

In its reply; the ministry said that it is keen to continuously monitor the prices in the recruitment companies and offices; and its supervisory field teams keep monitoring the market for any violations.

As to the price hikes; it said that there are several factors that have led to this matter. First is the spread of COVID-19 infection; the necessity to implement the conditions for entry into the Kingdom.

These include; the existence of the condition for a recent PCR test before entry into the Kingdom; the rise in prices of air-tickets by 15 to 33 percent; the rise in the Value Added Tax (VAT); and the inability to recruit from particular cities in some countries due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ministry added: “All these factors have led to the rise in prices for recruitment”; stressing that it gives all its attention to suggestions and opinions aiming at improving the recruitment sector in the Kingdom; via its various official channels.