Many expats employ help, either for cleaning, driving, childcare or cooking. Some have livein help & others may have parttime help
17 July 2013| Last updated on 4 July 2017
Many expats employ help, whether it is for cleaning, driving, childcare or cooking. Some have live-in help and others may have part-time help.
It has become quite common to have domestic help when residing in Kuwait. In many families both the husband and the wife work and hiring a maid becomes necessary in order to keep the household running in a neat and orderly fashion. Furthermore maids are often also tasked with the responsibility of caring for the children of the family. In some households the maid becomes an integral part in the running of the household.
Before you allow your maid to run the household ensure that she has received sufficient training. It is always important to be aware and sensitive to the cultural differences between yourself and your maid. In some cultures questioning the person in a higher hierarchical order is not even an option hence many maids will say that they know what to do when in reality they have no idea what is required of them.
Take the time to train the maid exactly how to clean your house, and what you require of her. Make sure that she knows the rules regarding your children. If you want her to cook ensure that she is familiar with the cuisine that you and your family are used to eating. You may need to provide her with recipes at first until she becomes familiar with the cuisine.
It is also customary to allow the maid to use the internet at set times, or give her wifi access in her bedroom so that she can contact her family back home. Also providing her with a phone allowance once a week is good for her to keep in touch. Remember that she is also away from her family and probably misses them a lot.
You should ask around to get an idea of the salary you should pay whether it is an hourly rate or a monthly sum for a prescribed number of hours. Domestic workers must have the appropriate visa and sponsor which allows them to work as domestic help.
Sponsoring a Maid in Kuwait
Many families employ a maid to help with household duties either on a full or part time basis. The process is quite straight forward and involves the worker having the appropriate visa and sponsor which allows them to work as a domestic helper.
Expat families residing in Kuwait may sponsor one full-time domestic employee. In order for a man to sponsor a maid, he must have his wife and children living with him.
Maids must be aged between 20 and 50 and the following documentation is required at the Immigration Office in Shuwaikh along with the application which must be typed in Arabic. (This can be done by a bi-lingual typist for a small fee of 500 fils):
• Copy of sponsor's passport and Civil ID
• Copy of wife's passport and Civil ID
• Copies of children's passports
• Sponsor's salary certificate
• Sponsor's rental agreement
• Copy of domestic worker's passport plus 8 photos (sized 35-40mm x 45-50mm)
• Copy of domestic workers contract
The domestic worker must go through the standard procedures to get a Residency Permit which costs approximately 200KD initially and 10KD annual fee per year thereafter. You will also need to check with the domestic worker's embassy in Kuwait about additional formalities they are required to undergo.
Again the best way to streamline the whole residency process is to use a 'mandoub' who will undoubtedly know the best way to circumvent any difficulties should they arise!
Finding a maid
There are many employment agencies which import domestic labour in Kuwait, but word of mouth is a great way of finding domestic help. School notice boards, local expat women and the maids themselves may know of potential candidates looking for work.
It is a good idea to ask around to decide what would be a fair salary for the work and hours you want. A suggestion is 1.5 to 2KD per hour for a part timer and 100 to 150KD per month for a live-in helper. You may also want to give an annual pay rise or bonus for a full timer or offer to pay transport costs for a part timer.
Under Kuwaiti law, maids are entitled to one day off at weekends as well as national holidays. You may also want to pay for an annual trip for them to return home- the price of which can be shared among employers if the maid is working part- time.
As the Government hospitals offer free health care for everyone with a Civil ID, you are not legally responsible for the health care of your domestic help.
If the maid has been legally resident in Kuwait for a minmum of 2 years, it is easy to transfer sponsorship if the current sponsor agrees to 'release' the employee. The simple procedure costs around 200KD and this cost can be shared if the maid is going to be working for more than one employer.