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Late last year, a Federal Law was passed by HH Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan specifically pertaining to domestic workers.

The law governs fees, recruitment and employment offices, labour contracts, employer and employee obligations, inspection, penalties, holidays, end of service dues, termination of contracts and settlement of disputes. 

Here's what you should know:


Who are domestic workers?

According Federal Law 10, also known as the Domestic Labour Law, these professions are categorised as domestic.

  1. Housemaid
  2. Private sailor
  3. Watchman and security guard
  4. Household shepherd
  5. Family chauffeur
  6. Parking valet workers
  7. Household horse groomer
  8. Household falcon care-taker and trainer
  9. Domestic labourer
  10. Housekeeper
  11. Private coach
  12. Private teacher
  13. Babysitter/nanny
  14. Household farmer
  15. Gardener
  16. Private nurse
  17. Private pro
  18. Private agriculture engineer
  19. Cook

Contractual Rights

The contract

The recruitment agency must present a copy of the job offer to the worker prior to the worker's departure from his or her country of origin. This contract must be accredited by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

The terms

Workers should be aware of the terms of the contract, nature of work and workplace, the salary/wages and working hours as set out by the executive regulations. They should know all of this before they cross their national borders.

No-fault termination of contract

The employer or the domestic worker may terminate the contract if the other party fails to meet his obligations. The employer or worker may terminate the contract even if the other party has met his obligations. This is called a ‘no-fault’ termination and is subject to compensation as laid out by law.


Working rights

The worker must get paid within ten days of payment due date. 

Every worker should get at least one day of paid leave per week.

Domestic workers should not work for more than 12 hours a day; he or she should get at least 12 hours of rest which includes 8 hours of consecutive rest.

Every worker should get 30 days of paid annual leave and 30 days of sick or medical leave.

He or she should be provided with medical insurance.

The employer is liable to give a round-trip ticket for workers every two years along with decent accommodation while in the UAE

His or her meals should be decent and attire should be suitable for work agreed upon - this must be provided for by the employer.

The workers must be allowed to keep their personal identity documents including passport and IDs etc.

In case of cases or complaints from workers, litigation will be swift and free of charge to the worker.

Any disputes should go through MOHRE, and if amicable settlement is not reached in two weeks, it can be transferred to a court. 


Prohibitions

No domestic worker should be younger than 18 years of age.

No discrimination should be made based on race, colour, gender, religion or political views.

No form of abuse or risk of abuse is tolerable, sexual or asexual, physical or verbal.

He or she should be protected from any physical harm and should not be forced to do anything that is not covered under the contract.

Disclaimer: For all queries, contact MOHRE directly. Gulf News is not responsible for any changes or misinterpretations of these legal guidelines.