Government will provide compensation to 315 families of migrant workers who died in NepalThe latest changes in law have made it possible for families to avail the compensation, even if migrant workers died in Nepal.
The Foreign Employment Board has begun compensating the families of migrant workers who died in Nepal during their work break.
The Board—the government body working for the welfare and rights of migrant workers—has long been receiving complaints from families and close relatives of migrant workers who died in Nepal during their annual work leave.
According to executive director Rajan Prasad Shrestha, the Board has decided to clear all pending compensation to the grieving families.
“There has been a long list of applications from the immediate families of deceased workers who died in Nepal during their contract period,” Shrestha told the Post. “We have started paying compensation to those families, as per the existing laws.”
The fifth amendment to the Foreign Employment Rules, done at the beginning of this fiscal year, made a change in the law allowing families to be entitled for compensation even if the workers had died in the home country or elsewhere, during their annual work break, while their contract was still valid.
Earlier, only families of Nepali workers who had died in labour destination countries were eligible for the government’s financial support. For long families had been demanding compensation for migrant workers who had died while on break.
Every year, hundreds of Nepali migrant workers die due to illness, road accidents, workplace accidents and other reasons in foreign countries. The families and relatives of those workers receive financial assistance from the Foreign Employment Board. Besides migrant worker deaths, the board also provides financial support for the critically injured and covers treatment for as many as 15 critical diseases within a year of the worker’s return to the country or until the end of their contract.
The changes in law will benefit 315 families of migrant workers who had died while holding valid work permits during their work break in Nepal. The decision to provide financial compensation to 114 families was made just before the end of the fiscal year 2018-19 whereas the final call for the remaining 201 families was made recently.
After going through the application process, the board, which is the patron of the Migrant Workers’ Welfare Fund, has started calling the families to collect their compensation dues.
“The families have now started visiting the board office for compensation,” said Shrestha. “So far, more than 60 families have already received the compensation.”
The board has been calling families in groups of 20s to collect their respective compensation. The amounts families receive differ as per the migrant worker’s date of death.
A migrant worker family receives Rs700,000 as compensation, which was revised in July 2017 from the earlier amount of Rs300,000. Therefore, the family of a Nepali worker, who died before the revision, would only get Rs300,000.
According to the board’s estimates, more than Rs200 million would be required for providing compensation to these grieving families. These families can apply for financial support from their respective local levels—the latest change which made it easier for the family members and close relatives of expatriate Nepali workers, who are seeking compensation from the government for their loss.