KATHMANDU, Feb 11: As many as 53 Malaysian companies have been barred from hiring Nepali workers due to their 'dismal track record', according to the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE). The companies in question were among 67 companies in Malaysia and the Gulf region blacklisted by the DoFE in the recent weeks acting upon tip offs of Nepal's missions, rights organizations and complaints of Nepalis working there.
Officials said that the DoFE had received hundreds of complaints against the companies regarding nonpayment of salaries, and abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.
Besides the Malaysian companies, others include four Qatari companies, and five companies each from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. DoFE officials said that the hiring process for these companies have been suspended since January 11. The companies will remain blacklisted until they act upon the complaints of the workers.
Since the past few years, the DoFE has been blacklisting companies or employers with history of abuse and exploitation, a measure that officials claim is aimed at preventing Nepali workers from joining bad companies.
Buoyed by good response generated by the blacklisting of foreign companies, the DoFE had also started blacklisting fraudulent Nepali manpower companies. But the DoFE has not updated the list since the past few months, even as cases of fraud continue to rise.
“As for Nepali manpower companies, we warn them once or twice before blacklisting them. Most of them settle cases as soon as we warn them. That's the reason why only a few manpower companies have been blacklisted in recent months,” a DoFE official said.
DoFE officials said that such measures have proved extremely useful in bringing down the cases of abuses and exploitation. The suspensions have prevented many workers from ending up in bad companies and forced the employers to mete out good treatment to workers, they added.
DoFE officials said there have been significant rise in the complaints against Malaysian companies in recent months, although Nepal stopped issuing work permits to go to there since May last year. Earlier, majority of the complaints used to come from Saudi Arabia whose economy was on a tailspin due to falling oil prices.