Good news for Filipino domestic helpers who wish to work in Bahrain, as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced that the Kingdom is once again recruiting migrant workers to work in the country after it has closed off its borders to foreign workers due to the ongoing pandemic.
After months of putting the recruitment of domestic helpers on hold, the Kingdom of Bahrain has announced that it is now allowing the deployment of migrant workers into the country as of September 14.
DOLE Confirms Resumption of Recruitment of Domestic Helpers in Bahrain
According to DOLE, 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, the Manila Bulletin reported.
In a statement shared by the labor department on Tuesday, September 15, it said 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.
The January-June 2020 Report of Congress to POLO–Bahrain, the number of Filipino domestic workers in the Kingdom made a huge drop by 9 percent during this period. From 18,663 domestic workers in 2019, only 16,576 remained as of June 2020.
With the number of recruitment documents submitted to POLO-Bahrain for processing validating this trend, recruitment agencies are expecting that the huge gap in the demand specifically for domestic workers will be filled up by Filipino workers.
Meanwhile, the POLO in Bahrain relayed the warning made by the LRMA to potential employers of domestic workers to refrain from engaging the services of unlicensed expatriate employees’ employment offices (DEEEOs) in hiring domestic workers.
The labor office clarified: “This is to ensure that mitigation measures against the spread of COVID-19 are strictly followed and workers’ rights are upheld and protected.”
The LRMA’s warning came after 61 recruitment agencies were recently questioned in a series of raids jointly conducted by LRMA and the Interior Ministry, where the most of them 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 the LRMA Inspection Director, unlicensed manpower agencies move domestic workers from one household to another, creating a situation that could further spread the COVID-19 virus. This potential threat has prompted the government of Bahrain to take legal action against these erring agencies and their employees.
Furthermore, 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.