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Posted On: 19 July 2014 10:01 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:14 pm

Ramadan demand makes part-time maids expensive

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Soaring demand for part-time maids by Qatari families this Ramadan has sent their rates spiralling to new highs.

A family needing a trained maid on an urgent basis for a couple of hours on a Ramadan day must cough up at least QR300, local Arabic daily Al Raya reported yesterday.

This is one of the factors responsible for making housemaids run away from their sponsors, the daily said quoting some Qataris.

Qatari families do hectic cooking to host dinners for neighbours and relatives and a lot of cleaning of the house in Ramadan.

This forces most families to hire part-time maids so they could extend a helping hand to the lady of the house and her permanent maid or maids.

Normally, one must call a manpower agency at least a week in advance to supply a maid for part-time work.

The rate per hour for part-time maid varies from QR30 to QR50, but if a family needs a maid for two hours on an urgent basis and there is no advance booking, the rate can go up to QR300.

A Qatari, Mohamed Hassan Abu Shar, told the daily he is paying QR40 per hour to a maid for part-time work. If it is not Ramadan, the rate is normally QR25, he said.

“There is too much work in a family in Ramadan because of feasts.”

Part-time maids are supplied by manpower agencies on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis. Some families manage to get part-time maids independently but there is the risk of the maid being a runaway worker.

Another Qatari, Abdullah Salem Al Haamli, said maids hired part-time on exorbitant rates are trained and experienced and know etiquettes.

“They know how to treat and behave with guests. Such maids are in high demand during the fasting month,” said Al Haamli. “And some, if needed urgently, can command a price of up to QR300 for a couple of hours.”

Ali Hussein Al Nema, another Qatari, told the daily that since there always is the risk of a maid having run away from her original sponsor, he didn’t believe in hiring maids part-time.

Fatima Mubarak, yet another Qatari, said Qatari families, whose permanent maids run away for some reason, rely on part-time maids supplied mostly by manpower agencies as a stop-gap arrangement.

However, in Ramadan a family has a lot of work so it needs part-time help from free-lancing maids, she said.

Rates for part-time maids are high in the holy month and this entices many regular maids to escape their sponsors and work part-time and make a quick buck, she added.

The owner of a manpower agency, Hassan Al Hakeem, told the daily that agencies exploit the situation in the fasting month and charge heavily for part-time maids.

“However, for reasons of safety and security permanent maids should be hired by families,” he said.