Saudi Arabia Cuts Recruitment Cost for Kenyan Domestic Workers by Ksh80,000

Saudi Arabia Capital City, Riyadh.
A photo of Saudi Arabia's Capital City, Riyadh.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under its Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has announced that it will cut the hiring cost for Kenya's domestic workers by Ksh79,532.

The government under its labour Ministry made reductions on Tuesday 16 January, indicating that the upper ceiling for recruitment costs for Kenya will reduce from Ksh462,302.07 (SR10,870) to Ksh382,770.81 (SR9,000).

Saudi Arabia noted that the reduction of the fee was part of the efforts to stabilise the labour market.

"The decision comes within the framework of the ministry’s endeavour to develop all services, improve the labour market environment, and enhance its attractiveness," stated the Ministry.

Passengers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Passengers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Recruitment fees refer to any fees or costs incurred in the hiring process for workers to secure employment or placement, regardless of the manner, timing or location of their imposition or collection.

The Institute for Human Rights and Business )IHRB) says that migrant workers are frequently expected to pay fees to agencies and brokers for recruitment to jobs abroad. These fees may cover a variety of costs including the recruitment itself, travel, visa and administrative costs and other unspecified fees and service charges.

However, some recruitment agencies cover the charges which the migrant worker repays later on. 

Additionally, the ministry stated that the move would also regulate recruitment fees and ensure quality service provision by ensuring fair market prices.

"It also shows the ministry’s keenness to review costs, services, and systems per economic variables, and in a manner commensurate with them," it further added.

The ministry stressed the need for recruitment agencies to adhere to and not exceed the ceiling of announced prices as implementation would be rolled out through the Musaned platform - an electronic platform that aims to provide a comprehensive system to integrate and organize the Labor Recruitment process from the offering Countries. 

Other nations affected by the cap include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Uganda, Burundi, and Ethiopia.

The development comes in the wake of the Kenyan government's increasing bid to send migrant labour to foreign countries

According to the statehouse spokesperson Hussein Mohammed, the government secured over 310,000 jobs for Kenyans in different foreign countries.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offered 2,500 opportunities for female healthcare workers who will be employed as general nurses and healthcare assistant professionals on a two-year renewable contract.

Furthermore, they are entitled to a minimum monthly salary of between Ksh92,000 and Ksh147,000 depending on their academic levels for 8-hour shifts.

State Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed speaks in a press briefing at NCPB Kisii depot ahead of President William Ruto's visit to Kisii and Nyamira counties on Mar5ch 22, 2023.
State Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed speaks in a press briefing at NCPB Kisii depot ahead of President William Ruto's visit to Kisii and Nyamira counties on March 22, 2023.