Plan afoot to help out kin of migrantsFamilies of those who die at work to get Rs500,000 in compensation
Families of migrant workers who die at work can receive up to half a million rupees in compensation once a proposal to this effect is implemented.
The proposal aims to provide Rs500,000 to families of those migrant workers who die during work abroad. Migrants who get injured at work could get as much—at the most—depending the nature of injury.
The Foreign Employment Promotion Board currently provides Rs300,000 to the families of the deceased from the Migrant Workers’ Welfare Fund while injured workers receive up to Rs 300,000. Earlier, the government was providing Rs150,000 as compensation.
FEPB officials said that a recent meeting of the board members decided to forward the proposal to the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“The proposal has been included in our 100-day action plan that was recently introduced. The proposal will come into effect soon after paperwork is completed,” said a FEPB official.
Families of migrant workers have said besides raising compensation amount, the authorities also need to address other issues.
As of now, families of migrant workers must come to Kathmandu to claim the compensation amount, which for many is a cumbersome process, as they have to make extra expenses like travelling to the Capital and arranging their stay.
“The process to claim compensation is too long and complicated. I had to go home and come back twice after the board officials demanded more documents,” Lal Bahadur Tamang, father of a migrant worker who died in Doha. “For people like us, it is costly and time-consuming affair,” added Tamang from Ilam. His son Dambar Bahadur, 30, who was working for Doha-based SiteWal Trading, died due to acute renal failure, according to the medical report.
Stakeholders believe the proposed compensation amount could help address the problems of migrant workers and their families.
The kin of most of the migrant workers face financial hardships when they lose their family member.
In Lal Bahadur’s case, he said has not yet paid back loan that he had taken to send his son abroad.
Death rate and injuries among Nepali migrants are unusually high.
The FEPB has provided compensation to families of 549 migrants who died at work in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. Similarly, it provided compensation to 97 migrant workers who returned with injuries in the same period.
It, however, is extremely hard to ascertain the exact number of deaths, as many people, including undocumented migrants, do not claim for compensation.
Similarly, the government is also working on double insurance benefit for the deceased and injured migrants.
Families of the deceased migrants who buy insurance scheme separately get Rs500,000 in insurance claims now, while many others get varying amounts from their employer and overseas-based insurance companies.
The FEPB, which collects Rs1,000 from each migrant worker for the Migrant Workers’ Welfare Fund, has long been facing criticism for doing little for the workers amassing millions from them.
Despite set objectives to provide training, orientation and other benefits to migrants and their families, the FEPB is yet to expand its branch outside Kathmandu even seven years after its establishment.