08/24/2009 07:05 PM
Ras Al Khaimah: Wages charged by part-time maids in Ras Al Khaimah have jumped by at least 50 per cent from the first day of Ramadan.
During Ramadan, kitchen responsibilities usually increase, and having extra help in the house becomes a necessity.
Families have been struggling to get maids who mostly work as cleaners at hospitals or schools or are sponsored by service companies. These part-time maids charge about Dh30 for an hour's work.
Families here stressed that these maids do not need do any regular work which is important for them to maintain their UAE residencies. On the other hand, employers don't mind shelling out Dh500-800 a month to hire help as they are not able to finish up their daily work.
Maids are urgently needed in Ras Al Khaimah. Families recruit them on an hourly basis and also provide them with transportation.
The families stressed that a part-time maid is the best possible solution for them, whether the women of the house are working or not.
Expatriate families in Ras Al Khaimah said they are forced to use part-time maids as they have to pay huge amounts as well as go through complicated process to hire maids.
They said they are aware that some of these maids may be considered "dangerous" when left alone in the their houses.
The families said they used to pay around Dh20 per hour for part-time help before Ramadan, but they were shocked to find a 50 per cent increase in their charges. Their tight schedules have made them dicate terms on their increased charges. At times, they are so busy that they offer help only two or three days after a request for help is made.
The families said that the maids have been striking deals with families on the new rates and to make their payments on monthly basis in case they visit families for fixed days during the month.
The families stressed that by doing this the maids are able to increase their monthly income as the part-time work does not take much time. They said that each visit to the house would cost at least Dh 50-60.
A senior officer at the emirate's Naturalisation and Residence Department described that part-time maids are "time bombs" which can cause very serious problems for people who hire them.
The officer warned that the uncontrolled work and performance of these maids who are not sponsored by these families poses a serious threat to the safety and stability of society.
The officer said that the temporary employment of this category of part-time housemaids is a direct violation to the UAE residency laws as thesemaids are not covered by any legal framework.
The officer explained that according to the law, the owner of the house, who hires a maid whom he does not officially sponsor, will land behind bars, referred to the court and also made to pay a fine of Dh 50,000.
The officer said that most of the families who hire part-time maids do not have any background information about these maids.
The maids sometimes provide wrong information including names, contact details, addresses and details of their legitimate sponsors.