STOCK house maid
Residents are prohibited to deal with an unlicensed agency for domestic helpers. Photo for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation issued decision No. 92 of 2022 to regulate the licensing and regulating of agencies recruiting domestic helpers in replacement of Tadbeer centres.

As per the decision, domestic helper recruitment agencies will not be licensed unless they meet the certain conditions stipulated in article No. 3 of Federal Law No.10 of 2017 and articles 2, 3 and 4 of its executive regulations.

The decision is based on Federal Law No. 10 of 2017, Federal Law No. 33 of 2021 on regulating labour relations, Cabinet decision No. 21 of 2021 on service fees and administrative fines set by the ministry.

An applicant who seeks to obtain a licence to operate as an agency recruiting domestic helpers shall be a UAE citizen with good conduct and must provide a bank guarantee of Dh500,000 that can be renewed automatically or an insurance as an alternative to the bank guarantee.

The ministry has the right to increase the bank guarantee amount as it deems appropriate, and it can allocate a portion of the amount or its full amount so the agency can pay to the ministry any due amounts.

An applicant, whether a person owning an establishment or a group of partners, is required to present a credit report proving his financial status, issued by competent authorities in the UAE.

The licence for a domestic worker recruitment agency is issued upon an approval by the Minister of Human Resources or his authorised representative. The licence is renewed annually after paying the set fees, provided that the agency continues to meet the required conditions.

The license is considered annulled if the agency fails to renew its licences within 30 days of the expiry of the licence. Fines also shall be paid.

Recruitment agencies are permitted to open branches within the emirate in which the license is issued or any other emirates.

Residents’ responsibilities

Residents meanwhile utilising their services should provide domestic workers with proper accommodation and food and meet their commitments to them. They are prohibited to deal with an unlicensed agency, a person or any office abroad.

Under article 3 of law No. 10 of 2017, no natural or moral person shall be authorised to act as an intermediary in order to recruit domestic workers for assigning them to be employed by a third party unless the person is a UAE citizen with good conduct who is authorised to carry out such activity in accordance with the law and its executive regulations.

The manager of the licensed agency must be a UAE national with good conduct and must submit the required guarantees as specified by the law, its executive regulations and ministerial decisions thereof.

The worker may only be recruited or hired in accordance with the conditions and regulations stipulated by the law and bylaws and ministerial decrees, as well as any other relevant legislations in force in the UAE, subject to compliance with the legal conditions required for the licensing of each occupation – if any.

In all cases, it is prohibited to recruit or employ any worker under the age of 18.

If workers are recruited or assigned to temporary employment contract by a third party, it is prohibited to hire workers to perform tasks that are not covered by the provisions of the law without obtaining the concerned authorities’ approval.