Expat employers not in favour of gratuity for maids

According to a new law in the country, domestic helpers will be entitled to an end-of-service gratuity. However, expat employers are not in favour of giving such benefits to their house help, which they believe will be a further financial burden on them.

“It’s definitely not a good thing. They anyways take their weekly offs but gratuity is over doing things. I will have to pay if it’s illegal but something which I don’t like,” said A Pradhan, an Indian expat in the UAE.

Many other expat employers that this website spoke with agree that gratuity will be just putting too much pressure on already over-burdened residents in terms of housing, visa costs and schooling expenses.

“If the law states that there should be end-of-term benefits for maids then why not state that they cannot blackmail employers in giving them a hike every year? I’ve been giving my maid a 20 per cent hike every year for the last three years.

It’s much more than the salary set by the Indian consulate. She knows that I have a small baby and can extract more from me. Why does the law only state the minimum salary, what about the maximum slab, over which the maids should not get?” asked another resident living in The Springs area.

“I don’t know how good or bad it is,” said a German national living in the same area. “I wouldn’t mind paying the maid extra but why not reduce the hiring costs of the maid?” she asked.

However, the maids seem an elated a lot. “I will immediately tell my madam,” said a Sri Lankan maid, working for a South African family in Emirates Living. “She will have to pay me,” she added.

Now that the law has come into force, expats are averse to the idea but a poll run on the subject last week by this website tells another story.

The Emirates 24|7 poll last week revealed that majority of UAE residents were open to such an idea.

Majority (65 per cent) of the respondents believed giving the maids’ benefits like gratuity is only just. They work hard like any other employee, and so should be treated in the same manner, they opted to say.

Many in the country were already giving such benefits to maids even when there no legal implications in place. Discussions on popular forums show that many domestic helpers are getting their dues just like any other employee.

Even though the majority of the online readers said giving more financial rights to the maids is just, there is a section of people, who believe the fees in hiring a maid are already exorbitant, leaving no scope for extra expenses.

The poll run by this website showed that 26 per cent of the online respondents will not give gratuity to the maids as they believe there are many added costs in hiring a domestic help. At the same time 9 per cent said they are not sure about the right approach to the subject.

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