Gulf: Migrant-Rights.org finds recruitment costs rising as middlemen "demand exorbitant fees" to place migrants in work; incl. co. responses
An investigation from Migrant-Rights.org published in June 2022 found the costs of recruitment continue to rise for migrant workers, despite initiatives like the Employer Pays Principle, campaigns for fair recruitment led by origin countries and legislation in destination Gulf states outlawing fee-charging.
A trend, particularly prevalent in the Kenya-Gulf corridor, has emerged whereby human resource (HR) consultants are used by companies to source workers from agencies. These HR consultancies charge workers commission and are also paid by Gulf-based employers. Agencies told Migrant-Rights.org that they no longer work directly with companies or final employers in the Gulf and sometimes don't know in which company workers are finally deployed. The highest commissions are reportedly paid by security workers, noting that security companies have procured more contracts ahead of November's World Cup kick-off
Migrant-Rights.org has identified a few exceptions where Gulf employers are reimbursing fees and recognising this risk to workers, but these are few and reimbursements often depend on workers having documented proof of fee-payment, which does not happen in practice.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited several recruitment agencies, HR consultants, food & support services, and security labour suppliers to respond to the concerns raised by the article:
- British Safety Services, Compass Qatar and GSS Certis provided responses; they can be read in full below.
- Al Dehreez, Al Jassim, Colombo Manpower, Dewan Consultants, Doha Security Services, European Guardian & Security Services (EGSSCO), International Human Resource & Hospitality Services, ISC Group Gulf & Power International Holding (PIH) did not respond