Employers Entitled to Regulate Mobile Phone Use for Domestic Workers in the UAE

MoHRE outlines compliance requirements and sick leave entitlements for domestic workers

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 10, 2024, 12:27:51


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The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has confirmed that domestic workers must comply with their employer’s instructions unless these instructions contravene the terms of the contract, the law, public order, or public morals, or expose the worker to danger or legal liability.

This includes the employer's right to designate a specific time and place for the domestic worker to use a mobile phone.
The Ministry indicated that a domestic worker is entitled to sick leave for a period not exceeding 30 days in a contractual year.

This leave may be taken continuously or intermittently, provided that a medical report issued by an accredited health authority in the country substantiates the worker's need for it.

The first 15 days of sick leave are compensated at the full rate, while the subsequent 15 days are compensated at half the rate. Furthermore, a worker shall not be entitled to paid sick leave if the illness was caused by their own misconduct.

Regarding the employer’s authority to deduct from the worker’s wages, the Ministry outlined two distinct cases. If the worker commits a grave fault or violates instructions, resulting in damage to the employer, the employer may, with the consent of the domestic worker or the Ministry, deduct from their wages up to 25 per cent of the amount necessary to compensate for the damage.

This may include, for example, the loss or damage of tools, machinery, products, or materials owned by the employer or in the custody or control of the domestic worker. If the parties fail to reach an agreement with the Ministry, the dispute shall be referred to the judiciary.

Additionally, the employer is obliged to deduct from the worker’s wages an amount sufficient to satisfy any debts resulting from a court judgement, with a maximum deduction of one-quarter of the wages in question.

In the event of a dispute between a domestic worker and a recruitment office that cannot be resolved amicably, the matter must be referred to the Ministry. The Ministry will then take legal action to settle the dispute.

If an amicable settlement is not possible, the matter will be referred to the competent court.
Similarly, in the event of a dispute between an employer and a domestic worker that cannot be resolved amicably, the matter must be referred to the Ministry, which will take appropriate measures to settle the dispute.

If an amicable settlement is not possible, the dispute will be referred to the competent court.
In response to the question of when the domestic worker and the employer may terminate the labour contract and the obligations of each party upon termination, the Ministry stated that either party to the labour contract has the right to terminate it unilaterally if the other party breaches their obligations.

If the employer terminates the contract for reasons not attributable to the domestic worker, the employer must provide a ticket for the worker to return to their homeland and pay any other dues owed to the worker.

If the contract is terminated by the domestic worker after the trial period due to reasons attributable to them, the obligations shall be as specified in the following cases:

If the domestic worker is recruited by name/direct recruitment, they must pay for their return to their homeland and any other outstanding payments owed by the employer.

If the worker is unable to pay for their return, the employer must cover these costs.
If the worker is recruited through a recruitment office, the office must cover the expenses of returning the worker to their country.

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