Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has released key provisions of UAE’s new law on domestic workers, which was passed by the Federal National Council (FNC) last week.
The bill, which will become law when it is signed by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was passed by the FNC on May 31 and aims to provide employees in a domestic setting guaranteed protection of the UAE government.
The new law will include comprehensive reforms to protect domestic workers, provide a framework for regulating relations between employers, employees and recruiters. It will protect rights of domestic workers to include access to dispute resolution, 30 days paid annual leave and minimum hours of daily rest. The law will also prohibit employment of domestic workers under 18 and aims to tackle discrimination.
Commenting on the new law, the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Saqr Ghobash, said: “The passing of this bill by the Federal National Council is a groundbreaking reform that will ensure that employees in a domestic setting are guaranteed the full protections of the UAE government. The bill, once signed into law, will bring the rights and protections given to domestic employees in line with other workers in the UAE.”
“Domestic employees play a vital role in our society and our economy. They are an important part of UAE family life and often enable both parents to return to work after having children, driving economic growth. It is consistent with the UAE’s international obligations that they are afforded full protection under the law.”
“The Domestic Labour Law will regulate four areas of key importance in the protection of domestic employees: contracts, rights and privileges, prohibitions and recruitment agencies. The Domestic Labour Law establishes the principle of informed consent, ensuring that workers are aware of the contract terms before departure from their home country. It also sets out the terms under which either employer or employee may terminate the employment contract.”
“The rights given to domestic employees include minimum daily rest hours, paid annual leave, weekly rest days, and access to dispute resolution. This will ensure that the UAE remains an attractive option for overseas workers contemplating employment here.”
“Moreover, we are taking tough action to protect vulnerable workers, cracking down on the employment of minors, discrimination and sexual harassment. We will be announcing enforcement mechanisms in the coming months to ensure that the government can take action to uphold the law’s proscriptions.
“Finally, the law provides for strict regulation of private recruitment agencies. It restricts the recruitment of overseas domestic workers to UAE-registered agencies, prohibits the payment of commission in exchange for employment, and aims to tackle potential abuse of workers in the care of agencies.”
“The passing of this bill reflects the UAE’s commitment to upholding the rule of law, aligning its legislation with international standards and defending the fundamental rights and dignity of its guest workers across all sectors of employment. I am grateful to members of the Federal National Council for their role in helping to achieve this important milestone.”