Dubai: In a bid to protect working women's rights, the UAE Federal Labour Law and the UAE residency and entry law allows women to work in any profession but under specific conditions.
Women must not be employed in any job that is unsafe, hard or damaging to their health. An expatriate woman who is sponsored by a father or husband can work in any job, even if she is listed in the resident visa as housewife.
The woman only needs to obtain a labour card which should be renewed every year. Some companies are ready to employ women on their father's or husband's sponsorship but some prefer that the woman they employ be sponsored by the company. Women need an approval from the husband or father if they wish to work.
The labour card of a working women sponsored by the husband or the father will be cancelled automatically when the card expires and is not renewed at the Ministry of Labour. Companies will have to reapply every year for a new labour card.
Labour card fees
The fee for a labour card for a working woman sponsored by her husband or father is Dh1,200, to be paid in two installments: Dh200 at the time of submitting the application and the remaining Dh1,000 at the time of the ministry approval. The fees have to be paid by e-dirham.
The employer should pay the fees. Working women also do not need to give their passport to the employer. She should also keep her labour card with her.
But if the woman wants to transfer sponsorship from her father or husband to work in the private sector, she needs approval of the previous sponsor and the new sponsor.
She also needs approval from the Ministry of Labour if her work is among the categories that are subject to the Labour Law. She would further need approval of the residency department.
The expatriate wife or daughter who has a work visa and then leaves the job, should apply at the Naturalisation and Residency Department, to amend her status.
Employment: Specific conditions
- According to the UAE Labour Law, a working expatriate woman, sponsored by the husband or father, is not allowed to work late into the night.
- A wife or daughter who leaves a job, cannot transfer her sponsorship to her husband or father directly, but should apply again for a new entry permit.
- Employers are not allowed to employ women to work for 11 uninterrupted hours.
- Employers are not allowed to make women to work at their establishments from 11pm at night till 7am next day in the morning.
- It is not allowed to hire women to work in any dangerous kind of work.
- Women who work in the field of health can work at night but should not do manual work.
- They can work at night on emergency cases.
- They can work at night if they are working in a directorial position or technical work.
- Women's salary should be equal to that of men, if the work performed is the same.
- Working women have the right to maternity leave.