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NRI Workers to be Protected by MOIA’s Model Contract
Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs has finalized a model work contract for the benefit of overseas Indian workers. The model work contract would be binding on both the employee and the foreign employer, clarified the Minister holding the portfolio, Mr. Vyalar Ravi.

At a 2-day conference of Indian ambassadors to 10 countries with a high concentration of NRI workers held this week, the recommendations of the diplomats were considered for adoption into a policy for migrant Indian workers.

The conference focused on the welfare of NRI workers in the GCC countries, Malaysia, Jordan, Libya and Yemen. The GCC countries alone account for 5 million NRI workers, with a majority of them engaged in the construction industry as contract labourers. Malaysia has approximately 2 million NRI workers.

The model contract protects the employee by making the following mandatory:

Basic monthly pay,

Working hours,

Overtime pay,

Salary payment by cheque,

Termination of contract termination clause by employer and employee,

Free transportation

Medical check-up

The model contract would be customised for each country. At the conference, Indian ambassadors urged the ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to check illegal migration from India.

Most of the migrant workers from India take advantage of the visa-on-arrival facility extended by countries like Malaysia to gain entry into the country.

The MOIA on its part will launch an awareness campaign to alert workers wishing to migrate through unlawful means on the need to follow emigration rules. As a back-up, Indian embassies in these countries would maintain a 24 hour helpline for troubled NRI workers.

The welfare of women migrants and domestic workers is also being kept in mind with a minimum wage policy to be drafted shortly, supported by a round-the-clock helpline and shelter service, legal support and health services.

Related Readings

»MOIA to Launch 'Know India Programme' for Diaspora
»Interest Rates on NRI Deposits High on MOIA’s Agenda
»MOIA Working on NRI University

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