The nanny dilemma: Finding the right help in Qatar
- Diana Farid
- On March 10, 2014
Recruiting domestic help in Qatar can be quite nerve-wracking and a paperwork-heavy process. JustHere looks into the different options available for residents, and the challenges that they might face.
Recent restrictions by certain sending countries in Asia, has made it even more of a challenge. Nannies and domestic help from the Philippines are most sought after in Qatar. “There have been unofficial reports that there is a ban imposed on Filipino domestic workers coming to Qatar. But the Qatari authorities have repeatedly denied the reports,” says Crescente R. Relacion, Philippines Ambassador to Qatar. “We have also received reports that visa issuance for other types of workers is being declined in view of the strict implementation of the $400 minimum wage for Filipina domestic workers. Again, the Qatari authorities have denied these reports,” he says.
While people have started to opt for domestic workers from Kenya, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, “many still prefer Filipinos due to the way they work, how they manage the house, how they take care of the kids,” says Zari Agopian a coordinator and marketing specialist in one of the manpower offices in Doha.
“We fear that we will face more difficulty here because KSA has approved the minimum wage of $400. This will have a direct impact on the number of Filipinos coming to Qatar as they will prefer Saudi Arabia. It already takes more than a month to get a Filipino maid visa as it involves a lot more paper work than other countries,” adds Amal Al Araby the marketing manager of another Doha-based recruitment agency.
The Ambassador is confident that this will be sorted out soon, during the joint commission meeting on labour matters that will be held soon.
The moment you choose to employ a nanny, there are many other subsequent decisions you must take: whether you seek a part time or full time help, getting the nanny through recruitment agencies or via acquaintances, the nationality and the pros and cons of each option, not to forget the additional financial burdens of hiring one.
Domestic workers like nannies, maids and drivers are not covered by the Qatari labour law, which means you have additional responsibility of ensuring they are decently employed.
There is no minimum wage, terms of annual holiday, gratuity, or even an approved employment contract for domestic workers.
In these circumstances, it’s important that the sponsor follows best practices. These include fair wages, weekly offs, annual or bi-annual vacation time, access to healthcare, reasonable work hours with sufficient hours of rest, and the right to decent work.
Also keep in mind that the nanny or maid you employ is a working woman and the breadwinner for her family, who allows you the freedom to pursue interests and dreams that may not be possible without her help.
Manpower offices Vs direct recruitment: The pros and cons
Many people prefer to employ nannies referred to them by their friends. If you choose this route, you will have to carry out all the paperwork by yourself. This will include facilitating pre-departure training and paperwork that’s mandatory in most sending countries.
The key advantages of controlling the recruitment process is that you can acquaint yourself with your employee before they join you, and you can also help them escape the corrupt recruitment cycle both in Qatar and their home countries. Often low-income migrant workers incur big debts to pay recruitment fees, which is illegal in most countries.
Going through an agency has several advantages, though. They would not only provide you the professional guidance required, but will take care of the mountains of paperwork both in Qatar and the worker’s home country. You will be paying a steep free upfront, which could be approximately QR10,000 (see table below).
Most agents allow a probation period of one to three months, giving both the employer and employee to change their mind and seek an alternative, if the relationship does not work well.
With direct recruitment it’s a far more expensive and time-consuming exercise to seek replacement.
If you choose to hire one from a manpower agency, ensure that the office is legally registered before you proceed. Also, never underestimate word-of-mouth references while choosing an agency.
Full time nanny versus part time
Hiring a live-in maid is the ideal solution for some families. For others the logistics of it all and the financial expenses may not be justified, and so a part time nanny would work better.
Part-time workers would come in for a set number of hours for a certain week days to help you with the cleaning, cooking, ironing or babysitting. The average rate per hour for this is around QR30-QR45 an hour. You can get a nanny for minimum of four hours up to eight hours daily. Due to increase in demand on part timers, you need to book your nanny’s service in advance to ensure they can send you the needed help on time.
Despite a convenience of a part-time nanny, parents who employ them feel the nanny fails to have a special bond with your children especially if the agent sends a different person each time, which is likely to happen. You will also have to repeatedly retrain staff if the agency does not provide you with one regular staff.
|Agency name||Contact details||Type of service|
#46 Al Shafi Road, Doha, Qatar
NOTE: They have an online chatting service where you can ask them all your queries
|Part time services|
|Qatar Maid Services||44413462
BN Seena Street, Flora Building
|Part time services|
|Al Hadeel Agency||33453306
Al garafa united road
|Swiss label company||44319990 / 44420238 / 66704333
Bldg No.91388, Al Rawabi St, Al Muntaza
|Part time services|
|Qatar Gateway||44181999||Full time services|
|Fresh maid services||44120441||Part time services|
|Qatar Maid Agency||44271197||Part time services|
Salwa Road, Near Qatar Islamic Bank
|Part time services|
Note: You have to own a visa and they get you the maid on your sponsorship
|Part / Full time|
- Kafala will be abolished… ultimately; But Qatar’s big announcement on labour laws is still pending cabinet approval
- Qatar Cost of Living: The JustHere Survival Matrix
- [UPDATED PHOTOS] Happy National Day Qatar!
- Damien Hirst is coming to town, and here are 10 things you should know about him
- First 7000 newborn babies in Qatar during Ramadan will receive baby car seats
- Cleansing of Doha: The Old Downtown Disappears
- Weekend Radar (July 4-6)
- ‘Whoa’ moment as Qatar’s overall population grows by 11.26%; 13.34% rise in that of females
- Weekend Radar (June 20 – 22)
- Souq Haraj awaits its inevitable fate in light of 2022
- Weekend Radar (June 6-8)
- Tickets for the June 13 Disney On Ice show up for grabs
- State mandates employers to medically insure employees under new law
- Runaways and Absconders; Slavery and Kafala: A dig into history
- Weekend Radar (May 30 – June 1)
- Atop the Everest: A mental feat more than a physical one
- Where do We Learn Arabic?
- All in a Day’s Work
- Weekend Radar (May 23-25)
- Not enough PHCs in Qatar to meet growing population
- Tipping point… who deserves gratuity?
- Blood donation in Qatar continues to be a challenge
- The coronavirus scare in GCC: What you need to know
- Ooredoo and Messi launch initiative for children’s health
- Been in Qatar long enough to remember these?
- Let’s Meet: Jeet Bahadur Mogar
- Onaiza Park: A splash of colours
- Ta2heel: By the youth for the youth… a uniquely Qatar initiative
- What you need to know about Emir Cup 2013
- Weekend Radar (May 16-18)
- QAWS receives a one month reprieve
- Hike or no hike in school fees?
- No lessons learned after Villaggio. The smoke continues well after the fire.
- Al Dhakhira gets first model commercial complex
- What every pedestrian in Qatar must know.
- Fatima Al-Nesf: Living her life in cartoons
- Inaccessible Qatar… where do we begin?
- Ready for some punchlines?
- A year more for neighbourhood stores
- UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi lead the race for regional tourism revenue growth
- Weekend Radar (May 9 – 11)
- Al Salihiya Juice Stall: Honk, and ye shall be served!
- How free is the free visa?
- Disney on Ice tickets now on sale
- In Qatar, traffic is a bigger killer than cancer
- 6˚ of Separation: The child in us
- Why QAWS’s success will be the community’s as well
- Payment woes for freelancers in Qatar
- DCMF event receives thumbs down
- Weekend Radar (May 02-04)
- DFI and Tribeca’s partnership comes to a close
- Second phase of Kulluna campaign promotes cardiac health
- Student filmmakers left in the lurch at Al Jazeera Docu Fest
- Traffic surveillance cameras to keep check on violators
- An Artistic Hypocrisy?
- More female nationals in the workforce than in other GCC states
- There’s smoke, there’s fire, and no one knows how
- Weekend Radar (April 25-27)
- QF attempts to change workers’ plight in Qatar
- Where to find a good book in Qatar
- The Greatest Gift
- It’s Earth Day today. Are you doing your bit?
- QMA launches free Mathaf Shuttle Bus service. Hop on.
- Where you from?
- Winners announced for the DCMF cartoon competition
- The mad gold rush
- The Park that’s more than just that
- Shisha Vs Cigarette: Which kills more?
- Qatar 2022 in the firing line again
- The Katara Dilemma: What do we do about misbehaviour?
- How to stay safe during an earthquake
- Weekend Radar (April 18-20)
- Qatar rocks, literally, as earthquake hits Iran-Pakistan border
- Qatar’s not a cheap place to live in
- Qatar should ensure a reliable legal framework for contractors: Merkel
- How much do your schooling expenses come to?
- Ezdan Mall partially opens in Doha
- More sports tournaments for migrant workers
- Qatar’s fuming: Cigs, shisha & the havoc that it wrecks
- Yet another case of intellectual property rights violation in Qatar
- 10 Quick Escapes for the Parent
- Qatarisation is imperative, but nationals shy away
- Enjoy the best deals in Qatar
- DFI to hold 48 hour documentary challenge
- Let’s Meet: Moidunny Karupp Theruvath
- Weekend Radar (April 11-13)
- 10 ways to make learning fun
- The divisiveness of your toxicity
- Parking, parking everywhere, who wants to use it?
- A Qatar Obsession: Adventurous & Deadly… Here’s to a safer ATV ride
- Qatar Biobank reaches 200th participant
- You won’t get lost finding this one!
- Sailing through luxury
- Count the paper you use
- Weekend Radar (April 4-6)
- Magical mystery tour of Qatar
- Jobs, and more jobs
- Rachel Gadsden: A vision beyond sight
- Don’t be shocked
- Indecent behaviour outside EC. Stay alert!
- Here’s a reader’s verdict on Qatari newspapers
- Weekend Radar (March 28-30)
- Why does journalism in Qatar look more like PR?
- Tuitions step in where schools fail
- Uniquely Qatar… See Queue, Will Jump
- 60 minutes of darkness
- Who’s up for the Workers Cup?
- Let our Children Be
- Qatar is the region’s second best travel and tourism hub, after UAE
- 10 Best Souvenirs From Qatar
- Are we saying goodbye to our local grocery stores?
- Exhibition Review: Hey’ya – Arab Women in Sport
- Hunger Games in Doha
- Privilege Vs Creativity
- Working from home… and home is a Doha café with free wi-fi
- School admissions in Qatar: Tough Lessons To Learn
- Exotic. Illegal. Blatant.
- What She Wears: The Dress Code Debate
- Aesthetics Trumps Conservation?
- Dubai Parks and Resorts to open region’s largest entertainment destination, including first-ever Bollywood theme park, this October