Saqr Gobash and Vayalar Ravi look on as Maher O. Badh from the Ministry of Labour (left) and Atul K. Tiwari, joint secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, exchange documents signed between the UAE and India to activate an electronic contract in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Employment contracts of Indian workers will now be attested online, a move which will make the process transparent and safeguard workers' rights, Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour, said yesterday.

Workers can review the terms of the contract and approve them before leaving India for the UAE.

The online validation of the contract will be mandatory for any employer in the UAE, the minister said.

The system was launched yesterday in the presence of Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs. It is expected to be fully operational in weeks.

At present, job contracts of Indian workers with an Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) stamp have to be attested by the Indian Protector of Emigrants and the Indian Embassy. The ECR stamp is required for those who have not completed their matriculation.

Agents took advantage of the old system to make separate, fake contracts.

The new system is activated by an online application by a UAE employer and requires disclosure of the key terms of the offer.

The system follows an agreement signed by both countries last September.