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Mastering UAE's Domestic Workers Law: Guidelines for Sponsoring Domestic Workers

The UAE's Domestic Workers Law ensures rights and duties are protected for both employers and workers

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Pavitra Shetty

Published on May 9, 2024, 11:10:16


domestic workers, domestic workers in uae, employment, employment in uae, employment laws

The UAE has taken significant steps to ensure fair treatment for domestic workers by enacting Federal Decree-Law No. 9/2022 Concerning Domestic Workers and Cabinet Resolution No. 106 of 2022.

The law, effective from December 5, 2022, outlines employer duties such as providing suitable housing and covering medical expenses.

For instance, if sponsors are hiring domestic workers from India then the sponsors must register with the Government of India's E-Migrant Web Portal and visit IVS Global Services for document attestation.

They must also submit various documents, including passports, Emirates IDs, and marriage certificates. After obtaining entry permits, sponsors must sign employment contracts with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) and ensure medical fitness and insurance for workers.

If sponsors are hiring domestic workers from other countries, they must follow similar procedures. This could involve registering with the respective government's migrant portal and visiting authorized services for document authentication, as exemplified by the above process in India.

Federal Decree-Law No. 9/2022 Concerning Domestic Workers and Cabinet Resolution No. 106 of 2022 aim to regulate employment relationships and establish a structured framework governing the recruitment and employment of domestic workers in the UAE.

What is the Law for Domestic Workers in the UAE?

The UAE Domestic Labour Law, as outlined by the Official Portal of the UAE Government, emphasises the principle of informed consent. This ensures that workers are fully aware of the terms of their contract, nature of work, workplace conditions, remuneration, and daily and weekly rest periods, as set out by executive regulations.

Who Can Sponsor Domestic Workers in the UAE?

To sponsor a maid visa in Dubai, the sponsoring individual must have a minimum earning of Dh6000 or Dh5000 with accommodation benefits. Additionally, the applicant must possess a UAE residency visa to sponsor a housemaid in Dubai.

Licensing Requirements and Obligations

Article 4 outlines licensing requirements for Domestic Workers Recruitment Offices, stressing the need for approval from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). Recruitment of workers under 18 is prohibited, and specific acts during recruitment are forbidden.

Articles 6 and 7 mandate a formal contract approved by MoHRE, covering worker requirements, rights, financial obligations and recruitment process details.

Recruitment offices must inform workers about job specifics, refrain from charging commissions, conduct pre-employment medical exams and provide suitable accommodation.

Employment Conditions, Leaves and Remuneration

Federal Decree-Law No. 9 of 2022 and Cabinet Resolution 106 of 2022 ensure domestic workers receive a paid day off each week and a minimum daily rest period of 12 hours, including 8 hours of continuous sleep.

Article 10 entitles domestic workers to at least 30 days of annual leave, with public holidays included. Employers must cover round-trip airfare if a worker spends annual leave in their home country.

Sick leave provisions include a maximum of 30 days per year, with the first 15 days fully paid.

Sick Leave and Other Obligations

Domestic workers may take up to 30 days of sick leave per year, with the first 15 days fully paid. Remuneration is not payable for illnesses resulting from misconduct.

Article 17 addresses remuneration suspension during preventive detention, and both employers and workers have obligations to notify the Ministry regarding absences and departures.

Obligations of Employer and Domestic Worker

Employers must pay agreed remuneration, cover medical treatment or health insurance and provide necessary accommodations, meals and clothing. Domestic workers must perform tasks diligently, follow instructions and respect societal customs.

Contract termination can occur due to various reasons, with employers obligated to settle financial entitlements within 10 days of contract expiration.

Rescission of Contract

Either party may rescind the employment contract for specified breaches. Employers terminating contracts without reasons must provide a return ticket and settle outstanding entitlements.

Domestic workers ending contracts post-probation incur obligations based on recruitment method.

End-of-Service Gratuity and Dispute Resolution

Article 22 allows the Council of Ministers to approve end-of-service gratuity systems and Article 23 outlines dispute resolution mechanisms, emphasising amicable settlements through the Ministry or court referral.

Inspection and Penalties

Ministry employees monitor and inspect various aspects related to domestic workers, with administrative penalties for violations outlined.

UAE courts have jurisdiction over disputes, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment for violations.

The Domestic Workers Law in the UAE establishes a comprehensive framework to protect the rights and responsibilities of employers and domestic workers. Understanding this law is crucial for all parties involved in domestic employment relationships in the UAE.

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