UAE, India move to protect workersCollaboration aimed at ensuring blue-collar workers are paid the wages and benefits they were promised back homeImage Credit: Getty ImagesPassengers line up at New Delhi international airport. Around 45 per cent of the more than two million Indians working in the UAE require emigration clearance. Their recruitment can only done with the approval of Indian authorities through the ‘eMigrate’ online portal. Picture for illustrative purposes only.Published: 20:30 August 14, 2016 Sajila Saseendran, Senior Reporter SMALLMEDIUMLARGEDubai: In a major initiative, India and the UAE have collaborated to ensure blue-collar Indian workers hired to the UAE are offered the same wages and benefits promised to them back home and not duped with fake visas or job offers.The new collaboration will now allow Indian officials to verify whether employment contracts offered to workers requiring emigration clearance are exactly the same as the labour contracts approved by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.Around 45 per cent of the over two million Indians working in the UAE, who form the largest workforce based on nationality, come under this category.Such workers’ recruitment can be done only with the approval of Indian authorities through the “eMigrate” online portal, www.emigrate.gov.in With the new system in place, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued an additional mandatory requirement for processing the emigration clearance for these workers who are offered jobs in the UAE.In a circular issued on August 10, a copy of which has been obtained by Gulf News, the ministry has directed all protectors of emigrants (POEs) to “carefully compare the employment contract uploaded by the foreign employer on the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation website, www.mohre.gov.ae, before the emigration clearance is given.”The POEs have also been directed to “tally/verify the correctness of the details given in emigration clearance form viz. name of the emigrant, employer name, job designation, salary offered etc. with the details available on mohre.gov.ae for the emigrant concerned”.Listing the procedures for verification of employment details of an emigrant from the UAE ministry’s website, the circular issued by Rajesh Sharma, deputy secretary to the Government of India, directed all POEs to strictly follow those procedures for UAE recruitment to check any fake visas or documents being uploaded on the eMigrate website.Names of recruitment agents (RAs) whose cases or documents are found to be fake, should be reported to the OE (Overseas Employment) Division of the MEA for further necessary action, the circular added.It also notified POEs that the ministry initiated the move after noticing that some emigration clearances for the UAE were being obtained by some agents by uploading fake or forged documents on the eMigrate system.T.P. Seetharam, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News the move will eliminate fake job offers and ensure that there are no discrepancies in what is promised to the blue-collar workers and what is actually paid to them.“This is a process which can work only when there is good cooperation between both the countries — the labour-sending country and the labour-receiving country. What we are seeing is an example of such cooperation and collaboration to the benefit of both the employee and the employer.”He said the initiative is a result of continuing dialogue between the UAE and Indian authorities. “There are efforts to better coordinate on various measures, particularly regarding the online systems like eMigrate and registration of agents, etc, through better communication and cooperation from both sides to benefit the workers and employers. This is part of that.”The envoy appreciated the UAE “for putting various systems and decrees in place in order to ensure that [labour] contracts are not substituted.“The whole purpose of the recent decree from the UAE side is that. They will not allow a contract signed in India to be replaced or substituted by another contract unless it is to make changes for the benefit of the employees”, the ambassador said, hailing the UAE for allowing contracts to be signed in Indian languages. What is new?Indian officials will now be able to verify if the job contracts offered to blue-collar Indian workers back home are the same as the employment contract approved by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Who will benefit?Blue-collar Indian workers who require an emigration clearance stamp in their passports and approval from Indian authorities to work in the UAE will benefit. About 45 per cent of the over two million Indians working in the UAE are from this category. What is the benefit?Workers will not be cheated with discrepancies in wages and other benefits or duped by fake visas or job offers. New UAE laws protect workersThis year, the UAE introduced sweeping rules in January that guarantee workers’ rights. Ministerial Decrees 764, 765 and 766 paved the way for improved labour relations by securing more stable practices governed by regulations that protect workers who are legally sponsored to enter the UAE. The rules ensure greater transparency, clarity and tighter monitoring of labour contract conditions.The decrees created a new unified, standard labour contract that stipulates a new unified contract which, in addition to the employment offer, the terms of which cannot be altered or substituted unless approved by the ministry.No clauses can be added to any contract unless compliant with and approved by the labour ministry.