JEDDAH – The decreasing number of housemaids in the Kingdom because of the moratorium on recruitment from Indonesia and Philippines has made the issue of runaway maids a major cause of concern for citizens. The problem is exacerbated because it takes so much longer to find a replacement.
To ensure their housemaids stay committed some progressive families are choosing to be extra nice to them. One family decided to raise their housemaid’s salary to SR1200 as well as surprise her with bonus payments and gifts. Their approach has proved to be effective as the housemaid has stayed with them and conducted her duties in a diligent fashion.
Some housemaids who don’t like the way their sponsors treat them tend to exact revenge by running away, stealing things, or worse still, punishing their oppressors with vindictive counter measures. One infamous example that recently made the headlines was the case of the two housemaids who were found guilty of putting stool and urine in their family’s food.
There are over two million housemaids in the Kingdom, 500,000 of whom are illegal workers who overstayed after gaining entry on Umrah and Haj visas.
Reports indicate that about seven thousand housemaids run away from their sponsors every year. Of the multiple nationalities working in the Kingdom, citizens unanimously prefer Indonesian housemaids, followed by Filipinos, Sri Lankans, Indians and Moroccans. — SG