Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Labour has announced new measures to renew work permits, previously known as labour cards, as well as expired contracts, by early next year.
Speaking about the new requirements, Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, said from the beginning of next year, new decrees will require “clear signature” of employees for contract renewal and the issuing of new work permits, which will put an end to the current work permit renewal procedures which simply follow a notification from employers.
He explained, “Workers, under the new procedures, will enjoy better options of either accepting renewal of the contract according to marked privileges and stipulated requirements in the new contract, or amend these privileges and conditions upon agreement by both parties, which actively contributes to promoting a strong working relationship. It will also enable employees to completely end the relationship, search for alternatives, or return back home.”
“Based on studies, the new decrees will end labour disputes caused by unjust labour contract submissions made by employers without referring to the labourers themselves, and getting final approval before issuing a new work permit,” he said.
Saqr Bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour, said that the three decrees come within the framework of developing legislation to regulate the labour market, confirming that the MoL is moving to a new phase based on establishing and promoting a balanced and productive business relationship between both sides, based on transparency.
The MoL is currently preparing to implement the new decisions on schedule as an effort to ease procedures between employers and workers, particularly in relation to work offers that employees agree upon, whether outside or inside the country, and ensure the highlighting of wages and breaks, as well as other rights and duties.
Al Suwaidi went on to say that the ministry had conducted a study examining the hiring processes in private enterprises, and took into account, through its new decrees, the active measures taken to issue a contract in the preferred language of labourers prior to their signature. This he said, will help “overcome any difficulties that both ends may encounter through several employment channels, including employment agencies or by dispatching company representatives to the targeted country or even through employment websites.”
The new decrees are interrelated and frame the relationship between both sides, starting by enabling the worker to review an offer before travelling abroad then signing the new unified contract with the employer upon entry, from which point a contractual relationship is recorded into the ministry’s database highlighting all rights and obligations as per the contract.
If the worker is in the UAE, the worker must duly sign the employment offer, as stipulated by the decree, before the employer applies for tentative approval to employ the worker.