Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation on Tuesday stressed that the government has no plans to implement a minimum wage policy in the UAE.
In a statement, the ministry said that wages, including for domestic workers, will continue to be fixed through negotiation between employer and employee. “The UAE’s wage policies enable a flexible labour market that creates thousands of new jobs annually,” it said.
“The government remains of the view that a free labour market, based on supply and demand, creates the optimal conditions, under which we are able to continue to welcome thousands of guest workers to the UAE every year, while simultaneously fostering sustainable economic growth.”
The ministry has nothing to do with any statements about fixing minimum wages for domestic workers, it added.
The UAE has recently taken steps to increase protection of domestic workers. On September 26, 2017, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued Federal Law No 10 of 2017 regulating the contractual relationship between employers and domestic workers. It provides legal protections to safeguard the rights of all parties involved.
Some foreign embassies in the UAE have announced their governments’ decision to impose certain pre-conditions, including minimum wages, for recruitment and retention of their workers in the UAE.
Although such conditions are not legally valid in the UAE, the foreign countries implement them by denying permission to new workers to leave the country. Embassies also refuse to attest renewed job contracts of existing workers in the UAE.
A foreign embassy recently said it would not attest the job contract of housemaids working in the UAE if the contract does not meet its new criteria, which include increased minimum wages based on the maid’s years of experience.
The embassy’s attestation is not a mandatory requirement under the UAE laws to renew a maid’s job contract and employers are free to renew it. However, when a maid goes back home, emigration authorities will not permit her to leave the country if her job contract is not attested by the embassy.