3 Destination country specific segregated data showed that there was little difference in the average income of Bangladeshi migrants almost across the Gulf states. The average monthly income of returnee migrants was the highest in Bahrain USD $364 (Tk.30,951), followed by Kuwait US$361 (Tk. 30671), Qatar US$361 (Tk. 30,662) and UAE US$350 (Tk.29,715). With US$299 (Tk. 25,410) Oman turned out to be the lowest earning country for Bangladeshi workers, followed by Saudi Arabia US$315 (Tk.26,721). KEY FINDINGS Impact on Employment and Wages COVID 19 had taken huge toll on the respondents most of whom were gainfully employed during preCOVID 19 period. Almost half of the total respondents (48.6 percent) stated that they lost their previous jobs. The loss of employment was more pronounced among male migrants (51.4 percent) than those of female migrants (31.7 percent). As much as 67.7 percent of the returnee migrants interviewed said that they did not receive due wages after February 2020. In addition to termination of work, the employers resorted to reduction of wages and reduction of working days. 38.7 percent workers experienced reduced wages during COVID 19 period. While 41.7 percent male workers reported decrease in wages, only 19.7 percent of female workers experienced such a decrease. In other words, it was the male workers who were adversely affected by wage decrease. Likewise, a total of 15.5 percent of workers reported that they experienced reduction in working days. In this case as well it was the male workers who bore the brunt (17.3 percent) compared to 4.5 percent of female workers. Extent of Wage Loss On average the Gulf returnees claimed that they lost US$2119 (Tk. 179,989) as wages and other entitlements. The average figure for male returnees stood at US$2287 (Tk. 194,308) and that of female workers at US$1144 (Tk.97,169). US$35 (Tk. 3000) was the lowest and US$7063 (Tk. 600,000) was the highest amount of loss cited. The destination country specific segregated data showed that with US$2853 (Tk.242,373) the UAE topped the list of the average amount lost by Bangladeshi migrants. It was followed by Kuwait US$2513 (Tk.213,472), Qatar US$2075 (Tk. 176,278), Saudi Arabia US$1985 (Tk.168,656), Oman US$1668 (Tk.141,707) and Bahrain US$1363 (Tk.115,780). Reasons for Return As many as 74 percent respondents stated that they had to return home as their employers wanted them to do so. The rest 26 percent returned mainly for three reasons: availed amnesty, were sent from detention or opted to return home for fear of COVID-19. The respondents furnished a number of reasons for their return to Bangladesh. As much as 28.5 percent migrants stated that they had come on vacation and got stranded in Bangladesh. All had valid visas to get back to their countries of destination. Some of them were able to contact their employers only to be told to wait, most others failed to establish any communication with their employers and were in absolute uncertainty about their future.

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