Standard Employment Contract for HSWs bound for KSA


RIYADH, KSA 19/11/2012: After The Saudi government decided to lift the ban on the hiring of Filipino household service workers (HSW’s), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issued last October 1, 2012 the Memorandum Circular No. 8, Series of 2012, the new guidelines on the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and POEA registration of SRA (Saudi Recruitment Agencies) hiring Filipino Household Service worker to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In the guidelines, it is clear that SRA’s should be accredited by our POLO before the Philippine Recruitment Agencies (PRA) in the Philippines can hire or deploy FHW in the Kingdom. However, according to my friend Mr. Hassan Khalil, the Contract Verification Officer of our Philippine Embassy/POLO, in his email dated 11 November 2012 informed me that the lacking document so far was the standard POEA Recruitment Agreement between the Principal/SRA and PRA.

The good news is that the Royal Saudi Embassy has already come up the final version of the Standard Employment Contract between the FHW/PRA and the Employer/SRA.

The following provisions are included in the standard employment contract:

1)  Contract Duration: Two (2) years effective   from the date of departure of the worker from the Philippines. The monthly salary shall start upon actual reporting to work.

2)  The Household Service Worker and the employer agree on a monthly salary of     US$ 400.00 which is in accordance with the laws and regulations prevailing in both countries.

3)  The employer shall open a bank account  for  the HSW  in  KSA, subject to SAMA rules and regulations and shall deposit regularly every  end  of  the month the salary of  the HSW to the  said  account.  The passbook or deposit slip or their equivalent shall be given to the HSW   and remain in his/her custody.  The employer   shall   help   the   HSW   to remit his/her salary    through    proper   banking channels.

4) The   Household  Service  Worker  shall   be provided  with  continuous  rest  of  at least  (8)  hours  per day.

5) Rest Day: At least one (1) rest day per week.

6)  Free transportation to the site of   employment and back to the point of origin upon expiration of contract and ensure the worker’s timely repatriation. In case of termination for reasons not attributable to the worker, the employer shall bear the cost of repatriation of the worker to the Philippines.

7)  The employer shall provide the Household Service Worker, suitable and sanitary living quarters as   well as    adequate    food   or equivalent   monetary   allowance.  

8)   For acceptable medical reasons, the HSW shall be allowed to rest and shall continue to receive his/her regular   salary. The employer shall    shoulder   the medical expenses.  

9)  The  HSW  is   entitled  to  return  to    the Philippines to spend his/her paid  vacation leave   of  thirty  (30)  days  for  every   two years of service with a round-trip economy  class   ticket. In case of his/her desire to continue working    with    the    employer, he/she    is     entitled     to   an    additional one-month salary.

10)  In case  of   death,  the  employer   is responsible   for  the  repatriation  of   the  HSW’s remains  and  personal  belongings to the Republic of the Philippines as  soon as   legally   possible   and   without undue delay. In case the repatriation of remains is  not  possible,   the same  may  be disposed of after obtaining   the approval of   one   of   the   HSW’s   next   of   kin or by the Philippine Embassy.

11)  In case  of  dispute between the employer  and the HSW, the  two contracting parties may  refer  the dispute to the appropriate Saudi  authorities  for  conciliation  and/or resolution.

12)  In case the Household Service Worker runs away  or   refuses   to work   without  valid  causes, the Philippine recruitment agency  shall  be  responsible  in  having    him/her  replaced  or  in returning the accrued cost of recruitment to his/her employer, as per  agreement   between  the   employer,  the Saudi    recruitment    agency  and  the  Philippine  recruitment  agency.

13)   The  worker  shall  be  repatriated  at  the employer’s  expense  in  the event  of  war,  civil disturbance or major natural calamity, or in case the worker suffers from  serious illness or work injury medically  proven  to render  him/her  incapable  of  completing the contract.

14)  After  the  expiration of  the  contract  and  the HSW   desires  to   return    the  Philippines, the employer shall present the  bank  statement of  the HSW to the Saudi recruitment  agency, and the employer and the worker shall  then  sign a final  settlement. Such bank   statement and proof of settlement may be submitted as evidence in the Philippines and in the KSA.

15)  The contract   may   be renewed   upon the agreement of the worker and his/her employer.  Should    the   contract be renewed, a copy of the renewed iqama shall   be submitted   to   the   Philippine Embassy/Consulate by the employer or Saudi recruitment agency.

16)   The contract   shall    be written in   two original copies in the English and Arabic text, both copies being equally authentic.

Special Provisions in the contract provided below:

– The   responsibility  of  informing   the employer  regarding  the  departure and  arrival  of   the    HSW  in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shall be that of  the  Philippine recruitment agency  in coordination  with   the    Saudi recruitment   agency.

– The employer and his family members, and  the HSW shall treat  one   another with  respect  and  dignity.

– The  HSW  shall  work   solely  for  the employer  and  his immediate household.

– The   employer  shall  not  deduct  any amount from the regular salary of the Household Service Worker. In case  of deductions

Philippine Recruitment Agencies + Saudi Recruitment Agencies

  for  lawful  reasons,   such deductions  must  be reflected  in  the HSW’s  pay  slip.

– The  employer shall pay the cost of the Household Service Worker’s residence permit (iqama), exit/re-entry visa, and final  exit  visa,  including the renewals and  penalties  resulting  from  delays.

– The  Household Service  Worker  shall be  allowed  to  freely  communicate  with his/her family and the Philippine  Embassy / Consulate  on  his/her personal expense or account.

– The passport and work permit (iqama) of the worker shall  remain  in  his/her possession.

– The  employer  shall  explain  to  the members   of  his household    the provisions of this contract and ensure that  these  are  observed.

– Any provision of this Standard Employment  Contract   may be altered,   amended   or  substituted   through  the   Saudi-Philippine Joint Technical Working Committee.

All of the above were perfectly written and the interest of our HSWs are fully protected under the provisions of the contract. However, the rights and obligations of the SRA and PRA is not clearly define as to who are really responsible in case one of the party fails to perform, precisely and exactly, his/her obligations under the contract.

One factor that should be defined of is – who are responsible if the employer had terminate the employment of the HSW when she failed to arrive the employer’s expectation of  his/her work performances. Is it the responsibility of the SRA or the PRA?  Where “she” be housed temporarily while still in the Kingdom waiting for her replacement?

One more thing, the special provision of the contract failed to mention about the role of our POLO and Philippine Embassy in case of termination of employment.  Does the POLO/Embassy should be informed about the termination? In this scenario, it must be emphasized that the POLO/Embassy should be notified at once when this happen.  

If I may recall, there were three termination and runaway cases that I knew that  the HSW  requested to be transferred to POLO or Embassy for her safety.  She was afraid that sexual harassment may occur at the SRA’s custody.

Further, special provisions says; “the passport and work permit (iqama) of the worker shall remain in his/her possession”, I doubt if this provision be realized.

Lastly, there are no provisions about how to validate and confirm that a Household Service Worker  upon arrival at site has a clean, comfortable and decent place to stay and her conditions are in conformity with the above stated provisions.BongA

Update:  15 December 2012

POEA Memorandum Circular No. 13 Series of 2012

Further to POEA Memorandum Circular No. 08, Series of 2012, on the guidelines on the POLO accreditation and POEA Registration of SRA hiring Filipino HSWs for Saudi Arabia, a POEA-prescribed model/standard Recruitment Agreement (RA) between the SRA and the PRA is hereby adopted as per Memorandum Circular No. 13 Series of 2012 signed by POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac.

To read the full text of the Model Agreement  click here >>>>>>> 


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