Shoura Council members have criticized the draft agreement on the recruitment of domestic workers from the Philippines as harsh on Saudis, and said the Labor Ministry should revise it, according to a report in a local newspaper.
The council members said the agreement imposed certain penalties on Saudis without similar conditions for workers.
“The agreement does not say anything about compensation for an employer if a worker runs away,” one member reportedly said.
Haya Al-Manie, a women member, said: “The agreement does not include the issue of a worker assaulting an employer or a family member.”
There were several instances of violent foreign workers harming Saudi sponsors and their children, they said.
Al-Manie said the agreement did not specify any penalties for workers or their governments for violations.
“This agreement has been drafted against the interests of Saudi citizens,” the member said.
One member said no one represented Saudi employers when discussions took place with the Philippine side on the clauses of the agreement.
However, one member said that Saudis must be made more aware of the rights of workers. In addition, foreign workers must be conversant with Saudi culture and traditions so that they understand their employers.
Another member said higher recruitment costs could not be justified because hiring not only benefits Saudis, but also workers and their countries.
The council said the ministerial committee overseeing the process should revise the agreement and resubmit it during its next session.
The agreement aims to protect the rights of Filipino workers and their employers. It lays out certain requirements including working hours and minimum pay for domestic workers.