The nanny dilemma: Finding the right help in Qatar
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.
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Manpower agencies charge a recruitment fee based on the nationality of the domestic worker.
Philippines: QR9,800 (Christian); QR10,800 (Muslim)
Sri Lanka: QR11,000
The above figures are for non-Qatari families. Qatari families would have to pay QR1,500 more. All figures are approximate, and include ticket fare.
Visa – QR300
Labour department – QR100[/boxify]
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.
Terms and conditions
- Part timers to be hired for a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 8 hours per visit
- The average rates start at 35 QR per hour to 45 QR
- Booking preferably to be made a day ahead due to the high demand
- Some offices will provide you with same maid upon availability but most of agencies provide different maids every time
- Offices provide maids with transport (No need to worry about that)
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|