Rules for hiring Indian
housemaids in Oman
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Times of Oman,
By REJIMON K.: MUSCAT: The
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has introduced certain changes to the
service agreements for hiring Indian housemaids.
According to the new regulations, it has been made mandatory for the
employers to submit a monthly salary certificate of RO1,000, and they would
also be required to provide a bank guarantee of RO1,100 while recruiting an
“Employers who draw a monthly salary less than RO1,000 will not be able to
hire a housemaid. The security guarantee will be used for the repatriation
of the housemaid in case the employer fails to honour the agreement,” Prasad
M. K., official lawyer of the Indian Embassy told Times of Oman.
The combined salary of husband and wife will be considered for the minimum
RO1,000 wage, and in normal cases, the bank guarantee amount is reimbursable
to the employer.
The Indian embassy has already intimated the Sultanate’s Ministry of
Manpower about the changes in housemaid service contract which will come
into effect from June 20.
“In case a sponsor agrees to release the housemaid to another sponsor, a new
agreement will have to be signed by the new sponsor. At the same time, the
existing employers will not be made to register and pay the bank guarantee.
“In addition to this, a family with more than six members will have to
recruit more than one housemaid. As per the new rule, the age of the maid
must be between 30 and 50,” Prasad added.
The changes to the rules were discussed by representatives of the Ministry
of Overseas Indian Affairs and the Sultanate’s Ministry of Manpower during a
Joint Working Group meeting under the MoU on manpower signed between the two
countries in May this year.
Welcoming the move, Anil Wadhwa, the Indian ambassador to Oman, told Times
of Oman that the changes would be a blessing for the housemaids who come to
“The changes come as part of the policies initiated by the Indian government
to ensure the safety of the citizens who come to Gulf countries as
housemaids. The latest amendments in the service agreements will protect
them from abuse.
“Both the employer and the employee will benefit from the changes, which
will bring forth a standardised structure for hiring housemaids,” Wadhwa
According to the new rules, salary has to be paid to the housemaid through
banking channels only. Where banking channels are not available, a
bilingual-salary slip signed by both the sponsor and the housemaid will be a
Also, when repatriating a housemaid, the air-ticket is to be booked by a
direct flight to India.
While similar changes have been introduced in other parts of the region,
there are some changes that are specific to the Sultanate.
“The employment agreement, which will be sent to the jobseekers in India,
will include a 24-hour hotline and a GSM number of the Indian embassy. This
facility is being initiated for the first time. It will be a big help to the
employees coming here.
“In most of the cases, we have found that they don’t know how to get in
touch with the embassy and are stranded on the streets,” the lawyer said.
In addition to this, the employer has to present the employee in front of
the embassy officials after the employee gets a labour card, and a cellphone
also has to be provided to the employee.
Lauding the Indian government’s move to protect the housemaids, Shaji
Sebastin, a social worker in Muscat, said, “Even though the cases of abuse
of maids are minimum, when we consider the total number of housemaids
working in the Sultanate, these changes will ensure that those who are
abused by the employers are not left alone without any help. Now, it will
not be easy to exploit an Indian housemaid,” Shaji added.