United Arab Emirates especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi is trying their best to achieve the International Labour Standards to ensure decent working and living conditions for all UAE Labours, they have already provided the best social media apps and friendly websites.
There are more than 750,000 domestic workers mostly from Philippines in United Arab Emirates from which 65% of workers are living in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
We have noted that Filipinos specially the Domestic workers are under hard pressure by their sponsors or agencies because of longest duty hours, weekly off, paid leave, retaining personal documents especially the passport are among rights that Philippine expats are looking for.
So, we have decided to give them a GOOD NEWS, and the good news is that UAE Law is going to provide special rights including 30 days annual leave with full pay, a weekly day off, daily rest at least 12 Hours, 8 hours of work and most important the right to retain personal documents including original passport, Emirates ID or work permit.
Point to be noted that all those rules has already been approved by the UAE Cabinet, passed by the Federal National Council and signed into LAW by Mr. President, His Highness SHAIKH KHALIFA BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN.
We are going to provide our readers each and everything that is written in upcoming LAW for Domestic workers in which it is clearly mention that domestic workers must be extended rights to equality and non-discrimination based on race, sex, colour, religion, political opinion or national or social sect, it is also providing a decent and comfortable working conditions, social protection and access to specialised courts and MOHRE (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation previously MOL (Ministry of Labour).
Please note that as per new Law the Placement agencies have to ensure that domestic workers are informed of terms and conditions of their employment such as the nature of work, the workplace, the remuneration and the period of daily and weekly rest as set out by the executive regulations before they have crossed their national borders.
Before proceeding to the Details of New Law please check out the new list of Domestic workers, the existing professions under the domestic workers category were: Maid, Household farmer and Family Chauffeur.
New Category for Domestic Workers:
The new professions under the domestic workers category (only for households, not for companies) are:
2: Private Sailor
4: Security Guards
5: Household Shepherd
6: Family Chauffeur
7: Household Horse Groomer
8: Household Falcon Trainer
9: Domestic Labours
11: Private Coach
12: Private Teacher
14: Household Farmer
15: Private Nurse
16: Private PRO
17: Private Agriculture engineer
LAW & Obligations for Employment Agencies:
The new draft law says: “A model contract accredited by the Ministry of Human Resources will be signed by the employer and the employment agency, setting out job description and qualifications of the worker as well as obligations of the employer. This contract will also provide for financial obligations towards the worker travelling to the UAE, fees of the agent and the period required to bring in the employee.”
If the agent or agency fails to honor the obligations set out in the contract, the employer (company) shall have the right to decide against offering the job to the worker. The agent will then bear the cost of Return air ticket to the home country.
The employer (company) has the right to claim compensation for any inconvenience caused by the agent’s failure to meet the contract’s terms.
The employer has to sign an official contract by MOHRE with the domestic worker, with copies being delivered to the worker, the employer, the placement agency and the Ministry of Human Resources.
“The contract, which can extend to no more than two years and is renewable for similar periods, shall more particularly specify the date of its conclusion, the date on which work is to begin, type of the work and workplace, duration of the contract, the remuneration and how it is paid, leaves, probation period and rest times, as well as any other terms required by the nature of the work. The law sets six months from the date of ending the contract as the time limit for different lawsuits within which an aggrieved person can approach the court for redress or justice,” it further adds.
A domestic worker, the draft law states, may be engaged on probation for 3 months, which can be extended to six months, during which his or her service may be terminated by the employer with the placement agency bearing the cost of sending the worker home if necessary.
The placement agent has to repay all fees if the contract is revoked of the worker’s own will, because of the worker or because agreed terms of the employment contract are not honored.
But a worker shall not be put on probation more than once in the service of any employer, unless the two parties agree to engage the worker in a different job.
To address abusive practices in respect of payment of wages, the law lays down a number of principles with regard to the protection of remuneration.
Salary protection and Deduction:
Remuneration, which has to be communicated to the worker and agreed by him or her before travelling to the UAE, has to be paid no later than the 10th of the following month and a receipt is signed upon every payment. The Ministry of Human Resources may set any more suitable wage protection system.
No amount of money may be deducted from a worker’s salary or end-of-service gratuity except for a debt payable in execution of a court ruling or repair of any damage caused by the worker, provided that the deduction shall not exceed a quarter of the worker’s salary. If a dispute arises, it has to be settled by the special tribunals at the Ministry of Human resources or be referred to the court.
Weekly Day Off:
A weekly day off with full pay will be given to worker, Where circumstances require an employee to work on this day, he or she will be granted a day in lieu or receive its payment. The regulations will set out working hours and rest breaks for every type of job.
Paid Annual Leave:
A paid annual leave of 30 days is fixed, if a worker’s service is less than a year but more than six months, the leave will be counted on the basis of two days for every month. The employer can set the date of the annual leave and, if necessary, divide it into not more than two leave periods.
Return Air Ticket:
The annual leave can be carried forward to the following year and the employer has to grant a return ticket to the worker to travel home every two years. Payment for the annual leave and the travel allowance can be paid in cash to the worker who opts not to travel home.
All domestic workers shall enjoy sick leave of up to 30 days a year and this leave shall be calculated with full pay for the first 15 days while the next 15 days will be without pay.
Effective protection against all forms of abuse, harassment and violence, and workers should also be provided with decent living conditions that respect their privacy.
The right to revoke the contract on one’s own if the employer fails to honor his or her duties.
Duties of the employer shall include all terms and conditions as set out in the contract in addition to ensuring the work environment, tools and equipment are safe for the workers, who shall also be provided with proper accommodation, clothing and food, medical care, good treatment, respect and dignity, and physical safety.
Working with Third Party:
An employer (Company) may not engage a domestic worker in any work with a third party unless legal terms are met and consent of the Ministry of Human Resources is obtained. The employer has to pay compensation for any occupational injuries or diseases of worker.
Worker (Employee) duties:
A domestic worker shall honor all obligations set out in the contract, in addition to performing duties in person and in keeping with instructions of the employer. The worker (employee) has to exercise due care in performing his or her duties and may not be absent from work without a valid reason. The worker has to respect customs and traditions of the society and public norms.
Orders of employers (companies) have to be met unless these orders are not within the scope of the duties the worker had undertaken to perform in the job contract, are in violation of the law or public order, endanger the worker’s safety or hold him or her accountable.
The worker has to exercise due care to preserve the employer’s private properties, tools and equipment and must not use these equipment outside the workplace, unless the employer’s consent is obtained.
The employee shall also keep in confidence the employer’s secrets during and after the term of employment.
Legal issues and disputes:
Inspectors or checkers may not enter the workstation or the worker’s accommodation without valid permission or warrant from the prosecutor and unless a complaint is filed against the worker or the employer or in the event there is reasonable evidence that the law and executive regulations have been breached.
The Ministry of Interior will grant powers to law enforcement officers, who will ensure law and regulations are enforced effectively, arrest violators, inspect placement agencies and workplaces and accommodations in keeping with the law.
If a dispute arises between the worker and the company, they must refer it to the Ministry of Interior’s specialized boards, which will exercise due care to help settle it amicably or refer it to the higher court.
At the end of the contract, the employer has to settle all the worker’s dues within 10 days and, in the case of the worker’s death, the employer has to repatriate the body to the worker’s home country urgently.
A worker who completes at least a year of service will be entitled to an end-of-service gratuity amounting to one month’s salary for each year of service.
The employee shall forfeit entitlement to severance pay if he or she is absent from work for more than 30 consecutive days.
Either the worker or the employer may cancel a contract of their own will if the other party fails to meet his or her obligations as set out in the contract and the law.
If the contract is terminated by the employer (company), he shall provide the employee (worker) with an air ticket to travel home, a month’s remuneration as a compensation and any other dues, if the contract is cancel by worker, he/she will bear the cost of travelling home.
A worker will have his or her salary suspended if he or she is detained after a complaint is filed by the employer but, once investigation is completed or a final ruling is issued acquitting the worker, the wage of the entire period has to be paid. However, if the worker is incriminated, the worker will forfeit his remuneration for that period.
If a complaint is filed against the worker by a third party and the worker is acquitted, that party will have to pay the remuneration of the worker during the detention.
Penalties for Violators:
Violators of the law will receive tough penalties including prison terms and hefty fines.
A worker who fails to keep in confidence secrets of his employer even after the term of employment shall receive a prison term of up to six months, a fine of up to 100,000 AED or both.
Those who encourage a domestic worker to quit his job or offer shelter to him or her or stop law enforcement officers from doing their jobs shall receive the same penalty and the court may also order deportation after the prison term is served.
Placement agencies which break the law shall be punished with a fine of up to 100,000 AED and recurrence of the offence will see the fine multiply.
An employer who asks a domestic worker to do a job that is not within the scope of duties indicated to perform in the contract shall receive a fine of up to 10000 AED which will also be applicable to the worker and the employer who fail to report the employee’s absence from work to the police within 48 hours.
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