Saudi sets new salary for domestic workers from Uganda, other African countries

Riyadh, (Saudi): The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced a reduction in the maximum wages payable to domestic workers from a number of countries including Uganda reducing from SR9,500 (Ugx9,672,645) to SR8,300 (Shs8,450,837).

The new wages represent about a 12.6 per cent (Shs1.2m) cut in the current monthly payments for Ugandan employees.

A statement from the Middle East Country’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development on Tuesday showed that Uganda is not the only country that is affected by the cut down in wage payments. Other countries include; Kenya, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has announced the reduction of the upper ceiling for the costs of recruiting domestic labour services in a number of countries. This step comes within the framework of the ministry’s efforts to review recruitment costs and ensure fair prices,” the ministry’s statement read.

“The decision comes within the framework of the ministry’s endeavour to develop all services, improve the labour market environment and enhance its attractiveness, and the keenness to review the costs of services provided and systems according to economic variables,” it added.

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In the list, only African countries got a double-digit percentage reduction, with Kenya taking a 17.2 per cent cut from SR10,870 to SR9,000, while Ethiopia got a 14.5 per cent cut from SR6,900 to SR5,900.

GulfNews, a local news agency based in Riyadh, Saudi’s Capital reported that the decision to review and regulate the costs is aimed at ensuring fair pricing and is also in line with the changing costs in the recruitment industry.

“It aligns with the ministry’s broader goals to develop all services, improve the labour market environment and enhance its appeal,” reads the article by the Saudi news outlet.

“It reflects the ministry’s commitment to periodically reviewing costs, services, and systems in response to economic changes, ensuring they are appropriately aligned,” the article added.

The recruitment of domestic workers to Saudi Arabia dates way back to 1998 and to date, the agencies exporting external labour to the Gulf country have increased to more than 600.

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Recently, Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development said it was collaborating with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enhance safe, regular, and productive labour migration between the two countries.

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