Dubai: The UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has issued an advice to workers in the UAE, highlighting seven processes that are illegal and that should be immediately reported to the Ministry.
Taking to its social media accounts on August 22, the Ministry said: “Your rights as a worker in the UAE are protected, and we prioritise your professional stability with a productive and innovative work environment.”
Here are the seven practices that workers in the UAE should report to the Ministry:
1. You don’t keep your identification documents.
In the UAE, it is illegal for an employer to withhold an employee’s passport against the employee’s will. As reported by Gulf News earlier, the employer should only be in possession of the employee’s passport when they are carrying out official business (i.e. visa issuance, renewal and/or cancellation) and the passport should be returned to the employee directly after completion.
2. You bear the travel and work permit costs.
As per the UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021, employers bear the cost of visa sponsorship. No employer is allowed to withhold any amount from an employee's salary or deduct visa fees or any other charges. Article 6 (4) of the Labour Law states that “an employer shall not charge the worker of collect from him or her recruitment costs, either directly or indirectly”.
3. You sign a contract with different terms from the job offer.
As per the official website of the UAE government – u.ae – the offer letter contains important details of the job and an annex that summarises the most important aspects of the UAE Labour Law. Both parties – the employer and the employee – must sign these documents.
As per labour reform regulations effective since 2016, an offer letter made to a foreign worker becomes legally binding after it is signed by both parties. An offer letter to a foreign worker signed by both parties becomes a legal contract.
This is why, after signing, the employer is not allowed to alter or replace any provisions of the offer letter unless such changes have the consent of both the employer and the employee, are within the scope of law and do not compromise the rights of the employee.
The employer is also required to disclose the terms of the offer letter to MOHRE. A copy of the offer letter is stored in the Ministry’s database and the employment contract that a new employee is provided should be based on the offer letter signed by both parties – the employer and employee.
4. You don’t keep a copy of your employment offer.
According to MOHRE, the employer should also provide the worker with a copy of the employment offer to keep with him or her.
5. You don’t receive full wages on time.
In the UAE, the employer is in default of paying the wage if he or she does not pay it within the first 15 days after the due date, unless a shorter period has been agreed in the employment contract. According to MOHRE, you can report four types of salary violations to them:
1. Salaries that are delayed for more than 15 days
2. Salaries that have not been received for a month or two months
3. Not receiving overtime pay
4. Illegal salary deductions
6. The establishment doesn’t provide the specified job opportunity.
As per the UAE Labour Law, an employer is not allowed to assign work to the employee other than the ones agreed to in the labour contract. However, the law does give permission to the employer to do so in certain conditions and only on a temporary basis, “…with the aim of preventing the occurrence of an accident or repairing what resulted from such accident,” as stated in the law.
7. You are unable to leave your job as desired.
If you want to resign from your job, it is important to fulfil your obligations as an employee, like providing the necessary notice to your employer. However, if you are unable to still leave your job, even though you wish to quit, you can raise the issue with MOHRE.
How to reach out to MOHRE for help with labour complaints
You can raise your complaint with MOHRE through the following channels:
1. 24x7 call centre – 600 590000
2. International call centre - 00971-68027666
3. Whatsapp – 971600590000
4. Website – mohre.gov.ae. You can go to the online chat from this page: https://www.mohre.gov.ae/en/contact-us.aspx
5. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org