The Saudi government is considering arranging an insurance scheme for foreign domestic workers employed in Saudi homes. According to Adel Al-Issa, spokesman for the General Committee of Insurance Companies, “preparations are under way for meetings between the Ministry of Labor and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) to discuss the relevant directives and prepare a study related to the insurance of domestic workers against hazards, as well as provide medical insurance”.
The new provision seeks to cover accidents during work, abrupt termination, medical emergencies and illnesses, as well as violence inflicted by employers, exile, and termination due to unsatisfactory work.
The Saudi spokesperson said that this step will provide assistance to these domestic workers know where they stand and that they are covered by insurance in certain cases, also stressing that this will also reduce the big financial burden assumed by the citizens when they need to deport domestic workers because of the lack of agreement during the trial period. However, the first significant step is to conduct a census, ascertaining the total number of people employed as domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.
If implemented, the scheme will come as breather to thousands of NRI workers. The new provision will not only contribute to the protection of offices and recruitment companies that bring in domestic workers, but will also limit the role of middlemen involved in recruiting domestic workers. Importantly, hardships faced by these Indian-origin domestic workers are not unknown to the international world, as they are not protected by any specific standards or stringent labour laws, till date