Labour office turns to technology in a bid to provide hassle-free services to migrant workersAfter online application, the remaining process of getting work permits goes online to ease services for aspiring migrant workers.
Chandan Kumar Mandal
Government agencies have intensified the use of information technology to provide hassle-free services to aspiring migrant workers.
In its latest move, the government is introducing an electronic token (e-token) system and messaging services for migrant workers to help them with the application process for labour permits.
The Department of Foreign Employment is launching e-token or the online queue system in all labour offices across the country from December 1. The e-token system will allow service seekers to choose their nearest or accessible labour offices.
According to Debendra Karki, chief of Foreign Employment Office, Tahachal, Kathmandu, the e-token system will provide the information to migrant workers on which day they can get their work permits after the completion of online application.
“After knowing the date of getting the work permit, migrant workers can then choose the labour office as per their convenience,” Karki told the Post. “The e-token system will make the service easier while also ensuring that the worker will get the work permit on the set date.”
Similarly, the messaging service will send an SMS to service seekers, notifying whether their work permits have been accepted or rejected.
“The SMS in their mobile phone will inform them if their application has been accepted or rejected and whether they need to submit any more documents,” said Karki.
Last year, the government had started distributing work permits from outside the Kathmandu Valley by setting up labour offices in all seven provinces. The labour offices were also mandated to provide services related to foreign employment, labour relations and disputes at their respective provincial headquarters.
By providing the re-entry labour permits from all the seven provinces, the aim was to offer workers respite from financial burden and hassle of travelling to the Kathmandu-based Foreign Employment Office to obtain labour permits.
The department of foreign employment is adopting the latest technologies for providing hassle-free services to migrant workers and also protect them from possible fraudulent incidents.
Last week, the department had started e-stickers by replacing the printed stickers for issuing work-permits for workers going on foreign employment. Earlier, the printed sticker, which would be pasted on worker’s passports, would cost the department over Rs2 million annually.
Workers can get the sticker on their submitted emails and get a printout as the proof of labour permit. The department hopes that the introduction of e-stickers will check document forgery and reduce the incidence of recruiting agencies and agents sending workers abroad through illegal routes.
“There will be less chance of duplication because the labour permit certificate will be directly sent to the worker’s email,” said Karki.