National

Recruiting agencies warn of suspending operations for a week

  • They are demanding interest on guarantee amount, revision to demand letter verification process
- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

May 19, 2019-

Recruiting agencies have warned that they will be suspending all the works and stop departures of migrant workers for various countries if the government does not address their demands immediately.

The Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies—the umbrella organisation of the recruiting agencies engaged in hiring Nepali migrant workers for foreign companies—has decided that they will shut down all their operations for a week from May 31 to June 6.

The recruiting agencies have given the government until May 30 to address their demands.

“We have discussed our issues with the government bodies on various occasions. However, they have not shown seriousness about our problems,” said Rohan Gurung, president of  the Association. “We are left with no option but to stop our operations.”

If the recruiting agencies halt services for a week, this will be the third such incident in four years.

Their major demands include interest on the deposit guarantee they submit for obtaining their operation licence. After the government hiked the guarantee amount from a minimum of Rs20 million to Rs60 million maximum depending on the number of workers an agency sends in a year, they have been demanding interest on the cash they pay as part of the total guarantee amount.

To address their demands, a task force comprising the representatives of recruiting agencies and government officials was formed.

“A few meetings were held but there has not been any headway,” Gurung told the Post.

“Recruiting agencies have demanded interest on their cash deposits because it’s a huge investment. Insurance companies, educational institutions and other enterprises get interest on their guarantee deposit, then why not us?” Gurung asked.

Recruiting agencies have also demanded revision to the government’s directive which requires employers to get the worker demand letter verified from the Nepali missions abroad to eliminate the cases of cheating of Nepali workers with fake demand letters pledging higher perks.

Now, manpower companies say this has only complicated the process, added hassles for employers and given rise to the irregularities by Nepali mission officials.

“We have come across such incidents when employers and their human resource officers are called many times unnecessarily for the verification process to get benefits from employers. They create hassles so that officials can forward those workers’ demand to the recruiting agencies of their connection and make money,” claimed Gurung.

In a bid to facilitate the whole verification process and avoid any ill-practices in the process, they have demanded online verification by providing user name and password to the employers for submitting the demand details.

The recruiting agencies are also demanding a revision to the service charges applicable for recruiting agencies for facilitating the worker hiring process. They want the service fees to be decided as per the practices in South Asian countries.

Also, they have demanded that the government provide additional facilities for recruiting agencies that opt for merger and immediately resume labour migration to Malaysia after conducting health check-ups from all the registered medical facilities.

 

Published: 19-05-2019 07:48

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