Dubai: During public holidays that are announced by the UAE government, what are the rules to be followed when it comes to domestic workers in the UAE. Whether it is your housekeeper, your child's nanny or any other domestic worker, are they legally entitled to get days off on public holidays?
Gulf News raised the query with Jihene Arfaoui, a legal adviser based in Dubai, who spoke about the provisions in Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 on Domestic Workers. The law establishes the principle of informed consent, ensuring that workers are aware of the terms of the contract, nature of work, the workplace, remuneration and the period of daily and weekly rest as set out by the executive regulations and before they cross their national borders.
The domestic worker’s law applies to the following service work occupations:
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
11. private coach
12. private teacher
14. household farmer
16. private nurse
17. private PRO
18. private agriculture engineer
Leaves for domestic workers
Articles 12, 13 and 14 of the law cover the regulations surrounding the working hours, weekly paid rest days, yearly vacation days as well as medical or sick leaves for the worker. As per these articles, domestic workers are entitled to:
1. One day of paid rest per week.
2. 12 hours of rest per day, including eight hours consecutive rest.
3. 30 days paid vacation per year.
4. 30 days medical leave per year.
Public holidays are not determined in the Law or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s (MOHRE) decision.
“Public holidays are not determined in the Law or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s (MOHRE) decision. So, we think that if the holidays are not determined by law – either through a specific law or through a decision related to Domestic workers by MOHRE, or by agreement, the employer is not obliged to give these leave days to his or her employee,” Arfaoui said.