Drivers account for 58% of expat domestic helps

October 09, 2017

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — Expatriate drivers accounted for more than half of domestic workers in the Kingdom by the second quarter of 2017, said a statistical report.

There are 1,385,060 expatriate drivers in the country who account for 58 percent of the total number of household foreign workers whose number has reached 2,384,599 during the same period, said the report carried by Al-Watan Arabic daily.

About three fourth of foreigners recruited as domestic servants work as drivers while the remaining quarter is distributed in eight other household jobs, said the report

It said 86.1 percent of male foreign domestic workers are drivers with their number reaching 1.385 million of a total of 1,610,244 male domestic workers in the country.

Foreign domestic workers have nine job titles identified by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. Male workers are not exempted from any of these jobs while female workers are not allowed three of these titles, namely, driver, house guard and farm hand.

Male domestic workers are distributed in various jobs with 1,763 of them holding the position of house keepers (0.1 percent), 166,819 house servants (10.4 percent), 16,432 cooks and waiters (1.1 percent), 35,234 house guards (2.2 percent), 3,092 farm hands (0.2 percent), 880 home tailors (0.05 percent), 34 home nurses (0.03 percent) and 410 home tutors (0.02 percent) while the rest are drivers.

The total number of female household workers in the Kingdom is estimated at (774,375 with house helps accounting for 766,171 (89.9 percent). They hold five other job titles. There are 1,105 housekeepers (0.1 percent), 3,070 cooks and waitresses (0.4 percent), 1,483 home tailors (0.2 percent), 2,374 home nurses (0.3 percent) and 172 home tutors (0.02 percent).

Salim Al-Salim, a recruitment company official, said specialized recruitment firms have been trying their best to supply adequate number of domestic workers for Saudi and expat families.

“We have introduced a new system that allows employers to hire maids on an hourly basis in accordance with their requirements. This system has reduced the volume of recruitment of foreign domestic helps by individuals,” Al-Salim told Al-Watan.

However, he pointed out that this system was not feasible for drivers. As a result, the recruitment of drivers continued like before without any major change because families so far do not have any other alternative except hiring drivers to ensure their mobility.

He said the statistical report showed that the number of foreign house drivers was higher than housemaids. “Domestic workers are mainly recruited for driving and doing household chores,” he added.

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