I write with growing concern about the disproportionate financial burden placed on families with limited means who are looking to hire domestic workers, specifically the requirement for a BND600 deposit to the Labour Department when applying for a new license. As my husband and I eagerly await the arrival of our third child, we find ourselves questioning the fairness of this policy.
While I understand the necessity of regulations to ensure the welfare of both workers and employers, the current system appears to work against the principles of equity and assistance to those who need it most. The policy exempts some officers with higher incomes from paying the deposit, making it evident that the capability to pay is recognised.
However, it is disheartening to find that those earning a minimum wage, like my husband and I, are still required to cover this significant financial load.
Shouldn’t our policies reflect the principle of progressive taxation, where those who can afford more contribute a larger share? It seems counter intuitive that those struggling to make ends meet are asked to part with a substantial sum upfront. If the aim is to provide assistance to those in need, then it should be reflected in every aspect of such policies.
Moreover, the cost of hiring a foreign domestic worker is already substantial, with the registered employment agencies charging BND3,000 – a significant sum that does not include hidden costs.
Families like ours are stretching our budgets to make ends meet and to provide the best care for our growing family. The prospect of investing in a domestic worker should be a step towards improving our family’s quality of life, not a further financial hurdle.
Just An Average Couple