Stop confiscation of original documents by private employment agencies

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I needed a job. Desperately. I had registered with the Kerala Employment Exchange functioning under the state Government of Kerala 10 years back. I renewed my application periodically but no call had ever come from them yet. On enquiry they say that they will call according to priority of candidates. And even after 10 years I have never received a single call to date. Then I went to a private employment exchange and registered on their job seeker portal. On doing so, I submitted my resume and I was asked to submit my ‘original’ documents of my educational certificates.

I finally got a job through this private employment exchange. And I joined there soon. The contract between me and the private agency is that if I take up the job offered from the agency then I must pay half of my first salary from that job after which only, they will return my original documents that was collected from me at the time of registration.

The problem arising is that I cannot apply to any other job during this waiting period as my original documents are with the private agency and they will not release it even if we ask them for any other important process that may arise. Also if we do not like that particular job, we cannot even quit it according to our wish. They impose it upon us and greatly resist returning our documents. They even go to the extent of not releasing the documents saying they will get us another job for us even if we do not wish to engage with the agency anymore. We are left with no choice but to continue with them.

This type of coercion and exercising unfair leverage against us by confiscation of our own documents trapping us into their system with no choice is truly unfair and unjust.

Statistics and reports show that Kerala has the highest human development index, highest literacy rate and so on. But it also records the highest unemployment rate as per the 5th Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey 2015-16 conducted by Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India. According to the survey report, among major states Kerala has the highest Unemployment Rate (UR) of 12.5 as against the all India level of 5 percent. Only two small States that is; Sikkim and Tripura have a higher unemployment rate than Kerala. Though Kerala has been registering a high income growth rate for quite some time now but it is not translating into creation of job opportunities. And this can be shown by the working of the archaic State run employment exchange portal. There is no proper structure, usage and integration of modern techniques or regular organization of outreach programmes in all districts and major cities. The rate of unemployment among those aged between 15 and 29 is 21.7 per cent in rural areas and 18 per cent in urban areas. The situation is worse in the case of Kerala women, who log an unemployment rate of 47.4 per cent, as compared to 9.7 per cent of men.

Under such a grave scenario where unemployment is growing at an alarming rate among educated and uneducated individuals, the need for revamping the Employment exchange portal and inviting more private agencies in becoming partners for alleviating unemployment is a necessity. But most of all they need to be properly regulated unlike wringing your arm forcing you into employment by threatening you with confiscation of important documents which must be stopped.

What we plan to do?

We will be petitioning the following officials to bring about a change in the laws regulating proper functioning of the private employment agencies and to revamp the State run employment exchange portal:

T. P. Ramakrishnan

 Minister of Labour and Excise Department, Government of Kerala


 Additional Secretary to Government in full additional charge of Secretary to Government for Labour and Rehabilitation Department, Government of Kerala

Santosh Gangwar

 Minister of State (Independent charge) for Labour and Employment, Government of India

Please sign the petition to support our cause for securing employment for the unemployed citizens of India in a structured and fair manner.


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