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25 Jun 2022


Huge recruitment fees charged for jobs in the Gulf; Qatar recruiters accused of demanding the highest commissions

See all tags Allegations

Migrant workers and recruitment agents from Kenya say the cost of recruitment to the Gulf, particularly Qatar, has risen dramatically in the last five years. Several individual agents and associations based in Nairobi and Mombasa claim that human resource (HR) consultants recruiting for Qatar-based companies demand exorbitant fees...

On an average, workers pay between US$900 and 1200 for a job. Kenya permits charging workers not more than one month’s proposed salary. This is legal, though it contravenes the fair recruitment guidelines. In Qatar, monthly salaries are roughly between the minimum wage of US$275 and up to US$320 in the security sector. Any fees charged over and above that are divided between recruiters in destination and recruiters...

Charging workers recruitment fees is illegal in most GCC states, but regulations are applied narrowly — and ineffectively — to any transactions that might take place in destination countries. Fees paid at origin are considered out of their jurisdiction. However, there is scant due diligence done on where fees charged in origin may end up, including in the coffers of businesses or recruiters based at destination. A few big organisations do claim to reimburse recruitment fees, but this usually requires workers to provide some kind of invoice or paper trail, which is rarely available. In general, GCC states provide poor grievance mechanisms to workers charged illegal fees.