Curbing fraud recruitment firms

  • Signing contract before govt official to be mandatory
Kathmandu

Jul 31, 2014-

The government has decided to make it mandatory for recruitment agencies and workers to present themselves at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) during signing of the labour contract.  The provision, which aims at curbing fraudulent activities involved in the recruitment process, is expected to come into effect within a few months.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) has decided to make the new provision applicable only for Oman in the initial phase. According to the MoLE officials, an internal meeting of the ministry presided by Labour and Employment Minister Tek Bahadur Gurung has also decided to gradually apply the provision for other labour destinations.

As per the decision, the two parties--client and the manpower agency-- should compulsorily be present at the ‘contract division’ of the foreign employment department in order to sign the labour contract.  DoFE will not issue labour permit to those recruiting agencies not complying the rule.

MoLE officials said the decision was taken despite opposition from the recruitment agencies to control wide-ranging anomalies involved in the recruitment process.

“This will allow the migrants to have conscious choice, while discouraging recruitment agencies to deceive workers. This new provision will address anomalies in the recruitment process by overseeing the overall transaction between the agencies and the migrants,” said MoLE Spokesperson Buddhi Bahadur Khadka.

MoLE officials said the ministry has already begun the  internal preparations to correspond the decision with other stakeholders, including the labour receiving countries.

In absence of authorised body to oversee the agreement, hundreds of migrant workers are deceived by the recruiting agencies and agents every day. DoFE

and other concerned authorities, including Nepali missions in various labour destinations, receive hundreds of complaints about low wage and work benefits. Many workers are even handed double contract letter or forced to sign different contract upon reaching the labour destinations.

DoFE officials said the office will make preparation to enforce the rule soon after it receives the memo of the ministry’s decision. DoFE officials said the decision can be very fruitful by making the recruiting agencies and the agents committed to their assurance. Migrant workers, too, will be protected from fraudulent agents.

“Workers generally pay high recruitment fee and end up getting nothing as promised as we have been unable to do much to curb such practices. DoFE had been pressing to make such provision for a long to end such practices,” said a DoFE official.

DoFE officials said the provision will be gradually applied for other labour destinations, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebenon, and the United Arab Emirates.

There will be some alterations in the provision depending on its effectiveness, the officials added. The Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (Nafea), the umbrella association of recruiting agencies,  has resisted the decision, saying it will give the upper hand to the department officials.

Nafea representatives told the Post that the provision will encourage abuse of authority at the department already plagued by corruption.

Published: 01-08-2014 09:32

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