Filipino domestic helpers in Cyprus get pay hike

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

ALTHOUGH the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has slowed down in hiring Filipino household service workers (HSWs), another country may be a good alternative destination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a report, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Cyprus Officer-in-Charge Josephine Tobia related that the Cyprus government has decided to increase by €27 ($36) the minimum salary of HSWs effective last January 1, 2011.

"The pay raise will bring the gross minimum salary of an HSW from €429 TO €456 a month ($567 to $603)," said Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz quoting Tobia.

Tobia's report also noted that the new regulations would cover both existing and new contracts for household workers.

She added the raise includes a five-percent increase on the gross amount and the cost of living allowance.

Tobia said Polo records show that there are some 2,756 documented OFWs in Cyprus during the period of January to November last year.

Of this number, about half or 1,296 of whom are employed as HSWs.

Two weeks ago, the Saudi government suspended the mandatory processing and verification of employment contracts between Arab employers and Filipinos HSWs.

It is believed that the new rule was spurred by the long-opposed strict Philippine requirements on hiring of HSWs, including minimum monthly salary of $400 and minimum age of 23 years.

Another provision of the requirement believed to be opposed by the KSA is in the verification process of the employment including the submission of a sketch of the house of prospective employers and their annual income. (AMN/Sunnex)

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