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Dubai: Recruitment agencies in the UAE will now have to follow a new set of rules and regulations issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).

MoHRE issued a Ministerial Resolution on February 24, 2022, on the regulation of employment agencies. The resolution is part of implementing the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 (the new UAE Labour Law).

So, if you are planning to get hired through a recruitment agency, it is important to be aware of the rules that they are required to follow as per the new guidelines.

Who does the resolution apply to?

The resolution covers recruitment agencies, mediation agencies (agencies that offer mediation services between parties in terms of Labour relations) and temporary employment and outsourcing agencies. The resolution provides specific guidelines for each type of agency.

What do the guidelines say?

Here is a list of responsibilities as outlined by the Ministerial Resolution:

1. All types of agencies are required to draft accurate contracts consistent with the Labour Law.
2. They are also required to keep workers’ records for at least two years that contain the details of workers, employers and beneficiaries.
3. Mediation agencies are required to ensure that they return workers to the country from which they were recruited and cover the costs for it. They are also responsible for damages caused to other parties due to its activities if it is proven that the agency has not complied with the terms of an agreement with an employer or beneficiary and for the worker’s failure to pass a required medical examination.
4. The obligations of a temporary employment agency and outsourcing agency also include implementing the legally established requirements of any employer towards a worker, and the agency may not, under any circumstance, fail to implement these obligations due to a beneficiary’s (the company using the agency's service) failure to fulfil their agreement.
5. The agency must also not employ minors who are not eligible to work under applicable laws in the UAE or receive any cash or commission. MOHRE will require agencies to provide relevant acknowledgement.

Responsibilities of companies

Any UAE-based company using the services of such agencies also need to fulfill certain obligations, as per the new resolution.

These include:
• Meeting all occupational health and safety requirements for workers proportional to the nature of their work and the risks of their professions, under the relevant legislation.
• Not assigning a worker to any job or service outside the general framework of their agreed duties.
• Prohibiting workers from working for more hours than the total number of hours agreed with the agency, except under overtime provisions and controls stipulated in the Decree Law, relevant executive regulations and decisions, and after the agency’s approval.
• Providing workers with instructions on their required duties in writing, under the general framework agreed with the agency.
• Providing an attendance sheet before sending workers to their agencies, recording, in writing, any reservations made by workers about the content of the sheet.