Abu Dhabi: The second phase of a campaign to educate workers about their legal rights was launched in Abu Dhabi’s ICAD labour camp accommodation in Musaffah on Wednesday.
Held under the slogan ‘Know your rights’, the campaign was officially launched by Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, previously known as the Ministry of Labour.
The minister met around 400 workers and worker representatives and listened to their comments about the new decrees.
The campaign aims to ensure that the newly adapted decrees are implemented and all workers and employers are aware of their rights. Speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines, the minister said: “We are happy and we believe the message is getting across. We feel that as much as we do to educate everyone then the relations between the business people and the workers will be in a healthier way and this will make the labour market more stable.”
“We will continue to educate people, this will be a continuous effort. We started in Dubai International Airport, we are waiting for the approval of Abu Dhabi airport. We will continue here and elsewhere,” he added.
As part of the campaign, a smart kiosk and booklets in 11 languages — including Arabic, English, Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, Sinhalese, Chinese, Nepalese and Tamil and Bengali — were distributed to raise awareness about labour laws among the workers.
The smart kiosk is activated by Emirate ID, and provides information on labour laws and prints a certificate for the attendee at the end of the training.
A manned stall is also placed at the neighbouring Madina Mall in Mussafah that people can visit.
The booklets include legal guidelines to inform workers about their rights during the period before and after arriving in the country. It also lists their rights and obligations while on duty, gives specific instructions on how to move to a new employer and explains how to approach labour disputes.
Asked if the efforts and investment made by the ministry to ensure everyone is educated on the laws is an indication of how important it is to be aware of labour laws, Ghobash said: “The last three decrees are very important decrees and the effect of these decrees will depend a lot on the understanding of the workers as well as the employers.”
Organisers from the ministry confirmed their inspection teams will be visiting other labour accommodations to raise awareness and answer inquiries.
The campaign’s first phase was launched at Dubai airport in February 2016.
You are entitled to keep possession of all your personal identification documents once your residency permit is issued
If you are asked to sign a contract with different terms and conditions, even if you are advised that the changes are of advantage to you, report immediately to the nearest labour office, as contract substitution is illegal
If your employer fails to present you with a contract or provide you with work, the Labour Office will assist you in finding alternative employment
If your employer fails to present you with a work contract within one week of your arrival, report to the nearest Labour Office
To avoid violating the law, do not accept other employment without first reporting to a Labour Office
UAE law requires your employer to pay the costs of your recruitment and deployment, including residency permit
Your contract must match your job offer, and you should keep a copy of your signed contract
You have the right to leave your job at any time, but be aware of your contractual obligations
The termination of your contract can be ended by the employer or the employee, and it can be by mutual consent
It is important for employees to follow the required legal steps for terminating a contract, as the Labour Office can help recover any dues that are owed to the employee and arrange placement in alternative employment if eligible to obtain a new work permit