Labor-exporting countries have welcomed the launch of mandatory pre-paid bank cards which will regularly be issued to domestic aides to withdraw their salaries.
According to a recent announcement by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, sponsors of the housemaids or domestic drivers are obliged to give them an ATM card from a bank which will help workers withdraw money as soon as they get their salaries.
Under this new regulation, which has to be implemented within six months, the sponsor has to deposit the worker’s wages in their accounts and they, in turn, will withdraw their wages from the banks through their ATM cards.
Some of the leading banks have already prepared the ATM cards which are dubbed “Salary Cards.”
Welcoming the decision, Ibrahim Almugaiteeb, president of the Human Rights First Society in Saudi Arabia, told Arab News that it’s an excellent move which ensures the rights of the workers. The government has introduced this scheme for the benefit of the foreign workers in the Kingdom.
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Indika Thilakaratne, the labor counselor at the Sri Lankan Embassy, told Arab News that this will eliminate several common problems between the sponsor and the worker. “It will also ensure that the workers are paid their salaries on time and regularly,” he said, adding that it is going to benefit a large number of housemaids who come from Colombo to the Kingdom.
Bangladesh Labor Counselor Mohammed Sarwar Alam told Arab News that it is good news for 150,000 housemaids who are working in the Kingdom since they don’t need to ask for their salaries from their bosses; instead it will be automatically deposited into their accounts. He thanked the Saudi labor department for introducing such a good scheme, which would resolve the problem of delay in the payment of salaries.
A Saudi journalist based in Dubai, Musad Al-Zayani, said it’s an encouraging development which ensures the rights of workers. “Workers should be paid on time and there will be transparency in their payments,” he concluded.
By Mohammed Rasooldeen
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