Abu Dhabi: A total of 250 privately owned recruitment offices have been shut down across the UAE as part of an effort to streamline the hiring of domestic workers.
The closures were implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), Nasser bin Thani Al Hameli, Minister of Human resources and Emiratisaton, told members of the Federal National Council on Tuesday. He added that the closures had been carried out after the licenses of the various offices had expired.
Al Hameli added that domestic worker recruitment processes will be enabled only through Tadbeer centres from March 2021, in accordance with a 2017 decision to ensure the rights of domestic workers and employers in the country.
“Another 10 private offices are currently operating, but they will be closed by the end of March 2021. The closed recruitment offices have been replaced by 54 Tadbeer centres,” he added.
The Minister added that action had also been taken against 99 recruitment offices that had violated the closure order.
The first Tadbeer centres, which handle all recruitment processes for domestic workers like maids and nannies, were opened in the UAE in 2018. The MoHRE also stopped renewing licences for private domestic worker recruitment offices in 2017.
Pacts with 10 countries
Al Hameli said the UAE is also working to reduce the recruitment costs for domestic workers, based on agreements with 10 countries that supply the greatest number of domestic workers to the UAE.
He was responding to a question by Hamad Al Rahoomi, deputy speaker of the FNC, the UAE’s consultative body. Al Rahoomi had asked why private recruitment agencies that brought workers to the UAE on tourist visas and illegally sent them to work with households were allowed to operate, and added that this ‘black market’ did not protect the rights of employers or maids. Al Rahoomi also pointed out that domestic workers recruited in such a manner were not trained for the job, and often quit before the end of their contracts.
In contrast, Tadbeer offices ensure that a contract with an employer is completed, while also guaranteeing that domestic workers are paid on time. They also offer a variety of recruitment packages to suit the needs of employers.