As tensions with the Philippines mount and the Philippine embassy’s illegal shelter closes, Kuwait is enacting a contingency plan to maintain a stable supply of domestic workers. Khaled Al Dakhnan, head of Kuwait’s Domestic Labor Recruitment Offices Union, announced a new bilateral agreement with the Ethiopian Federation of Domestic Workers. This agreement will ensure a steady influx of well-trained domestic workers from Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Agencies to Support Kuwait
Around 600 employment agencies under the Ethiopian Federation of Domestic Workers will supply workers to Kuwait, pending the formal establishment of a labour agreement between the two nations. Once signed, a memorandum stipulating worker training requirements will be initiated.
Mandatory Training for Workers
Kuwait has set conditions for the training of incoming workers, including a mandatory three-month training period. Al Dakhnan anticipates that a significant number of Ethiopian workers will fill the gap created by the suspension of recruitment from the Philippines.
Fair Wages for Incoming Workers
The recruitment contract’s value will align with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s decision and will not exceed KD 500, while the set monthly wage is KD 90 (roughly USD 300). This wage is considered the highest among neighbouring countries.
Anticipating Future Labor Challenges
Al Dakhnan emphasized the urgency of finalizing the labor agreement with Ethiopia before the beginning of the school year in September to avoid a potential labour crisis. Concurrently, talks are also in progress with Kenya and Uganda. These negotiations, however, require certain prerequisites, like formal memorandums of understanding with Kuwait, to allow the importation of domestic and specialized workers from these countries. The relevant authorities in Kenya and Uganda are awaiting a labour agreement with Kuwait.
- Kuwait has put in place a contingency plan to ensure a steady supply of domestic workers, following tensions with the Philippines.
- An agreement with the Ethiopian Federation of Domestic Workers is set to fill the gap left by the Philippines, with approximately 600 Ethiopian agencies supplying workers to Kuwait.
- Workers will be required to undergo a mandatory three-month training period.
- Kuwait has established a fair wage policy for incoming workers, with the value of recruitment contracts not exceeding KD 500 and the monthly wage set at KD 90.
- To prevent future labour crises, Kuwait is prioritizing the finalization of the labour agreement with Ethiopia, while also in discussions with Kenya and Uganda.