Minimum wage ‘unfair’ for employers?
FNC member argues that minimum wage for domestic workers and maids is 'taking advantage' of employers.
May 20, 2013 4:24 by kippreport
Before we risk sounding sanctimonious by rambling on about the importance of human rights – how we should hold on to it in every way possible and contribute to the betterment of society – Kipp would like to pose one question.
Do you believe imposing the minimum wage here is unfair to employers? Apparently, at a Federal National Council (FNC) session this week, an FNC member will argue that it is, in fact, unfair for Emiratis to have to abide by this minimum wage. According to The National, Hamad Al Rahoomi intends to ask Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s Foreign Minister, whether embassies should be allowed to ‘proactively ensure these minimums are upheld’.
Al Rahoomi says that many nationals have complained to him about this, saying maids should not be receiving a 100 per cent raise when they’re not doing any more work.
“This has been the situation for years. So we are surprised. If the two parties are happy, why change it?” asks Al Rahoomi. “This is taking advantage of UAE nationals,” he adds. “Some have started to draw up side contracts with maids to avoid minimum wages.”
As many of you probably know, minimum wages for domestic workers and maids have already been implemented in the United Arab Emirates. In November this year, more than 100 recruitment agencies have signed agreements with the Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies to abide by a Dhs1,469-a-month minimum pay.
A similar agreement applies for Indian staff at Dhs1,100, Dhs800 for Indonesia, Dhs825 for Sri Lanka and Dhs750 for Bangladesh. Nepal – which has had a particularly difficult history with worker abuse in the region (particularly Saudi Arabia) – has banned women under 30 from working in the Arabian Gulf and requires at least Dhs900 a month for those above 30.
You’ll have to excuse Kipp, but after years of everyone getting away with paying domestic workers practically nothing, the idea that a minimum wage – which still, in my opinion, remains shockingly low – is ‘taking advantage’ of anyone, is impalpable.