Defray cost of Air Ticket from Insurance Payment
Migrant workers in the UAE are requesting that their air fares to return to Sri Lanka be met through the insurance payments they make when travelling abroad for work.
Writing to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Migrant Sri Lankan Community –UAE states that George Stuarts Travel Agency has offered to bring back workers free of charge. However, the available free tickets would not be sufficient for all those who are stranded in the UAE to return to Sri Lanka.
Therefore, the group is suggesting that the free tickets be used to bring back those who are most affected by job losses owing to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UAE.
They point out that migrant workers have been without work or on reduced salaries since March this year and have had to dip into whatever they had to pay for basics. Therefore, they state that in the event that flights are available for them to return to Sri Lanka, they may not have the wherewithal to purchase the tickets.
The group says that the insurance payments made to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment could be utilised to defray the cost of the tickets for the rest of the workers.
Migrant workers are required to pay Rs. 18,000 as insurance for registration the first time around. Thereafter, they are required to pay Rs. 3, 735 every two years to renew their registration. They point out that only a few have had to fall back on the insurance benefit and request that their return to the country be facilitated thus.