29 July 2005
JEDDAH -- Ministry of Social Affairs has reactivated a law that allows fleeing housemaids to be employed by other employers rather than sponsors, according to a report by Al-Jazirah the Arabic language daily newspaper.
The law will be applied to housemaids who escape from their sponsors and seek refuge at the ministry s center caring for runaway maids. However, the law that has been drafted to secure maids rights besides enabling to seek employment with other employers than their sponsors.
The ministry hopes to cut down the numbers of the housemaids who desert their sponsors for being mistreated or unpaid and who seek refuge at the ministry s center or its anti-beggary centers. The ministry s budget has been strained caring for maids.
The law stipulates that the new employer under the loan law should be a Saudi national, married, have a permanent income not less than SR3,000 a month and should be a government or private sector employee.
The new employer should undertake to conduct medical examination of the maid to make sure that she has no diseases. The employer should be responsible for her airfare if she completes three consecutive months of employment.
The law also grants the employer a grace period of 10 days as a trial period to determine her efficiency and fitness. After the expiry of the 10-day probationary period the employer shall bear the expenses of her return to her home.
And if for any reason the housemaid refuses to complete the period then she must bear the fees of her return to her country.
In case the original employer appears , asking for the termination of her services with the new employer then he shall bear the fees of her return home.
However in such a case, the law makes it mandatory for the new employer to release the maid.
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