The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has warned people in the UAE about “unlicensed recruitment agencies, including unreliable social media pages, that promote the services of these category of workers”. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has warned people against hiring workers from unlicensed recruitment agencies.

The ministry has issued a statement, saying that families and employers who recruit workers from unlicensed agencies will get untrained workers without any guarantee of the work getting done, and will also expose themselves to legal hassles if the worker is found to be a violator of UAE law.

The ministry has warned people in the UAE about “unlicensed recruitment agencies, including unreliable social media pages, that promote the services of these category of workers”.

The hiring family can contract infectious diseases if the hired worker was ill, as unlicensed agencies will not take the necessary measures to ensure the workers’ medical fitness. On the other hand, dealing with approved recruitment agencies guarantees the rights of all parties in accordance with the Domestic Workers Law and its Executive Regulations.

‘Protecting the rights of all parties’

The ministry recently issued a decree that allows private recruitment agencies to offer domestic workers on hire, provided they obtain a licence after meeting certain conditions. The ministry said that dealing with licensed agencies will protect the rights of all parties.

Domestic workers in the UAE primarily come from Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal and India. The ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with the countries that the workers come from in order to control the recruitment process and guarantee the rights of all parties. A periodic review of fees will also be done according to the recruitment costs of each of these countries.

Recruitment packages

Licensed recruitment offices offer different packages for recruitment of workers. These are as follows:

Traditional package: The worker is registered on the employer’s records and resides with him or her during the contract period of two years, which is the period during which the recruitment office guarantees the employer the services of the domestic worker. This package allows the employer to replace the worker or recover the cost of recruitment in the event of any of the following cases during the first six months of the employment term:

• If the worker terminates the contract without a legitimate reason.

• If the worker quits without an acceptable reason.

• If there are fitness-related issues with the worker.

• If the worker is unable to carry out the contracted task in the manner agreed.

Temporary package: Where a trained and qualified assistant worker is provided within 24 hours and this worker is registered with the recruitment office for a contractual period of two years, during which, the worker is not allowed to move with the employer.

Flexible package: This provides a domestic worker registered with the recruitment office to work under a flexible system (hours-days-weeks-months) and the cost of recruitment depends upon the type of employment. This package has a set of benefits, including the provision for qualified and trained domestic workers. The number of replacements is not specified.

The ministry has developed services such as cancellation and renewal of residence permits of domestic workers and registration of complaint about interruption of services.

Wages through WPS

The services can be obtained through the ministry’s website, the ministry’s smart application and by calling the toll-free number 80060.

“The employer can complete any of the services such as cancellation or renewal of the residence permit of the domestic worker or register a complaint for interruption of work through the smart application of the ministry, without the need to enter the password and user name,” said the ministry.

The ministry has called upon employers to pay the wages of domestic workers through the Wage Protection System (WPS), as the system allows them to pay wages on time in the easiest way in a manner that preserves their right to prove the payment process.

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Direct cash transfers

WPS, which is optional, allows employers to pay wages to employees and domestic workers through the system, by way of direct cash transfers to banks, through money exchange houses that provide the service and that are registered with and approved by the UAE Central Bank, or through the smart applications of these agencies.

The system includes all domestic worker categories, including sailors, housekeepers, cooks, guards, private drivers, shepherds, groomers, falconers, workers, housekeepers, farmers, gardeners, private trainers, private teachers, private nurses, special representatives and private agricultural engineers.