Sri Lankan helpers’ salary increase delayed in Kuwait

April 7, 2012

The implementation of the 75-85 Kuwaiti Dinars ($269 – $305) monthly salary for Sri Lankan domestic helpers will be delayed for at least three weeks, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Kuwait has said.

“It will be implemented maybe in two to three weeks time,” C.A.H.M. Wijeratne said. “We delayed it because we want to listen to Kuwaiti employers and recruitment agencies who expressed reservations on our plan.”

The Sri Lankan government decided to delay the implementation, pending an appeal from Kuwait recruitment agencies and local employers, Kuwait Times reported on Thursday.

According to the diplomat, the Sri Lankan government believes that increasing the salaries of their domestic helpers could reduce the number of runaway cases.

“We are the highest, in terms of runaway domestic helpers. We receive at least 15-20 people every day. We have more than 400 runaways in our shelter,” he said.

Sri Lanka decided to raise the salaries of domestic helpers following a series of studies about the cost of living.

However, the decision was resisted by some people on the grounds that it was impractical, prompting Sri Lanka to delay its implementation.

But for Sri Lankan officials, spiraling living costs warranted the increase.

“Kuwaitis want their salaries to be increased by the hundred folds. What we want is an increase of KD10 on top of what the domestic helpers are currently receiving. This is small,” officials said, quoted by the daily.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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