Finding work locally or overseas should not be a question of legality if all parties understand their roles and rights under a common law.
However, this scenario can get a bit vague when it comes to working overseas because policies can be bent by unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of those who are on the other side of the bargain. In such cases, it’s important to deal with these people as wisely and as best as we can – always on the basis of the law.
Pinoy Domestic Workers in Kuwait Told by Recruiter to Take Smaller Pay
A Filipina recruiter based in Kuwait reportedly instructed all nine of her recruits to take the offer in their contract, which had been changed when they arrived in the Gulf State, as shared in a report by the Kuwait Times.
All nine women entered Kuwait via legal means, but were surprised to find out when they were offered lower than what was agreed prior to them travelling for work to Kuwait. The Pinay recruiter, though, advised the women to sign and accept the new contract rather than go back to their country of origin.
According to the recruited domestic workers, the reason why they applied for overseas jobs was because of the promise of a higher salary. They explained that even if they wanted to go back home, it’s not going to be a practical option for them at this point. However, what they want is for their company to follow the provisions in the (original) contract.
The group shared that they had accepted and signed a contract with KD 180 as salary. But for the last two months, they were only receiving KD 120 because the Filipino recruiter told them to “just accept the offer or leave Kuwait.” In this set up, the domestic workers will have to complete at least two years before they can demand the rightful amount due them.
According to the Kuwait Times’ report, the women had earlier signed a contract in the Philippines bearing the amount of KD 180 plus KD 25 in food allowance.
However, when they arrived in Kuwait, the women said they were told to sign another contract of KD 180 without the additional KD 25 in food allowance. But none of those contracts were followed – KD 180 salary plus KD 25 food allowance or the KD 180 one without the food allowance.
Instead, they were given KD 120, and the Filipina recruiter instructed them to take it or leave. So it means that they will only be receiving KD 120 for the duration of their contract.
For their part, Teresa Olgado, Assistant Labor Attache and currently the officer in charge of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait, shared that the people involved, including the company, can be held criminally liable for contract substitution and failure to comply with the provisions in the contract.
Furthermore, they will be charged not just in Kuwait, but the agency in the Philippines could be held liable, as well. They involved agencies may be closed down if the contract substitution charges are true, Olgado explained.
The workers are still waiting for their new civil IDs to lodge a formal complaint at the Philippine Embassy against the company and their recruitment agency.