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Recruitment Agency Forum

Recruitment Agency Forum was held on 27.02.2012 in”Holiday Hotel” under the patronage of the Sri Lankan Embassy.  23 recruitment agencies in Muscat participated in the forum.

 

H.E. the Ambassador addressing the gathering indicated that a dialogue between the Embassy and the agencies will create a healthy environment to resolve issues related to the manpower sector, which is beneficial to the both sides.

 

Following issues were discussed at the meeting.

 

01.        Preparation of Agreements/job orders

(a)          In preparation of job orders and agreements the Mission needs correct information and required documents. 

(b)         Embassy needs the materials in printed form an orderly manner for     processing.

 

02.        Terms & conditions of the Agreements/job orders

(a)          Agencies must take action in accordance with the provisions stipulated in    the agreements and job orders.

(b)         The agencies should co-ordinate with the Embassy in their registered names (in some cases they are dealing with the Mission in other names, which is inappropriate).

(c)          After signing the agreement the agency should abide by the agreement in the provisions mentioned therein.

(d)         Sponsors should be made aware of the provisions of the agreement. 

(e)          Minimum wage should be RO 75/- (for domestic workers).  In some cases agencies inform the sponsors to pay RO 60 or RO 65/-, which is not acceptable.  Other workers too must be paid their minimum wage.

(f)           The agents should inform the sponsors to provide the facilities to the workers.

(g)         The sponsor should be educated about the validity period of passport and the insurance of the worker and to renew them in time.

(3)      Responsibilities of the agents

(a)          When the domestic workers return to the agencies seeking the help due to harassments, the agencies need to provide food, accommodation and look after them in proper manner.

(b)         Agencies are expected to respond, on an urgent basis, to the complaints referred to them by the Embassy.

(c)          Agencies are responsible for the domestic workers for 2 year period in terms of the agreement.

(d)         In some instances we have found that some agencies do not take action to provide another work place for the domestic workers when they return to the agencies.

(e)          When the work place is changed the Embassy should be kept informed of the details of the new work place with immediate effect.

(f)           To discourage over-aged workers coming from Sri Lanka.

 

(4)     Disputes and solutions

(a)        Sponsors, who have the records of harassment or payment of less salary, should not be provided with another SL domestic worker by the agencies.

(b)       If the minimum salary is not paid, the balance should be paid by the agency.

(c)        Sponsors should be informed not to assign the domestic workers with responsibility of rearing household animals.  It is inappropriate to ask any worker to carryout responsibilities that are not mentioned in the agreement.

(d)       Under no circumstances domestic workers should be physically harassed or abused by the agency or the sponsor/family members.

(e)        Any agency, which would bring down domestic workers from UAE illegally, has to face cancellation of job orders.  Their future job orders will not be accepted by the Embassy.

05.     Co-operation and way forward

(a)      The Embassy expects the co-operation of the agencies to resolve the issues of the domestic workers who seek the assistance of the Mission.

(b)     Agreements of those agencies, who do not wish to co-operate with the Embassy will not be accepted by the Mission henceforth.

(c)      Illegal recruitment from UAE should be stopped at the earliest possible.  The Embassy has taken efforts to stop such illegal recruitments in the recent past.  However, the agencies could also take some interest to stop such illegal activity, which would be beneficial to both sides.

 

 

Following issues were highlighted by the Agencies.

 

1)   Age limit.

To be restricted for 21 – 50 years.  Sri Lankan licensees should refrain from recruiting workers over 50 years to prevent breaching the service contract over the issues such as old age and sickness.

 

2)   Medical Reports.

Action to prevent submission of false medical reports.  The participants mentioned that Sri Lankan licensees have their own medical centers to issue false medical reports concealing the worker’s sicknesses/ailments.  These malpractices in Colombo should be contained at any cost.

 

3)   Commission rates.

(a)  The participants were of the view that the commission rates applicable to the Middle Eastern countries differ from country to country.  As a result the Sri Lankan licensees are disinclined to send workers to Oman as they get low commissions.  Therefore, the workers are encouraged to go to the countries where the Sri Lankan licensees are offered high commissions.  Although the job orders are submitted with due payments and numerous hassles, the Omani agencies face the problems of not receiving any applications from Sri Lanka.

b)   Sri Lankan licensees sign job orders with many recruitment agencies in Oman and forward similar application to all the agencies with an intention to send workers to the job order with the highest offer.  This malpractice has compelled other Oman agencies to pay the sponsors and the ministry unduly.

c)    Some Sri Lankan agencies collect their commission in advance but fail to fulfill the requirements of their counterparts in Oman.

 

4)   Illegal recruitments from UAE

(a)        Agencies suggested that the malpractice of UAE agents to be brought to the notice of the SLBFE, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Consulate.

(b)       Details of the transfer of employees from UAE should be informed to this Mission by the SL Embassy/UAE for monitoring purpose.

(c)        The agencies involved in this malpractice should be blacklisted for more than six months.

(d)       The agents inquired as to why a few UAE agencies have been blacklisted, when other powerful agencies are still continuing this malpractice without any hindrance.

(e)        Workers those who are rejected by the UAE sponsors due to various reasons are convinced by the UAE agencies to go to Oman for employment.  By this way worker’s return to Sri Lanka could be expedited through the Mission in Oman.  Those agencies in UAE must be monitored properly to put an end to this malpractice.

 

5)   Skilled category

They further requested to implement a procedure for recruiting skilled workers through the agencies.  At present some companies and govt. departments recruit their workers through direct recruitment procedure.