Illegal maids in Saudi Arabia minting money in Ramadan

The delays in completing recruitment process for housemaids from abroad has opened the door for a black market

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The delays in completing recruitment processes for housemaids from abroad has opened the door for a black market in Saudi Arabia where maids are working by the hour and earning up to SR9,000 a month.

A source reported some Saudi sponsors rent their maids out for SR25-SR40 an hour depending on the size of the house and the number of occupants.

He said: “People online are posting offers of transfer of sponsorship as the black market for maids has proven to be profitable.

“Indonesian maids are the most in demand and the cost of sponsorship transfer has reached SR35,000.

“The cost of sponsorship transfer for Filipinos has reached SR25,000 and for Ethiopian housemaids it has reached SR15,000.”

He added maids are working double shifts and earning up to SR300 a day.

A Saudi man said his family was forced to hire Indonesian maids by the hour. He said: “The demand for Indonesian maids is very high and no one is catering to that market.

“The Ministry of Labor has stopped recruiting anymore but it did not offer us any alternatives.”

A member of another Saudi family said most families prefer maids living with them and working for them legally and not by the hour.

He said: “The ministry failed in finding an effective solution to the maids problem.

“It has reached a point where we are spoiling our maids just so we don’t lose them.

“And they keep demanding less work and higher pay.”

A source from a supermarket reported sales of plastic plates, cups, forks, knives and spoons have increased during the past few days.

“It is evident that many families are spending Ramadan without a housemaid and they are eating on plastic plates so they can discard them after they eat, instead of having to wash dishes and do the housework themselves,” said the source.

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