His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, as recently approved the Federal Law No. 10 of 2017.
The law contains provisions on employment of domestic workers in the UAE, including provisions about labor contracts, working hours, vacation leaves, participation of recruitment agencies and settlement of disputes.
What domestic workers are entitled to, according to the new law.
- should be paid current month’s wages no later than the 10th of the following month.
- should be granted 12 hours per rest day, including 8 hours consecutive.
- should be given one day of paid rest per week.
- are entitled to 30 days of medical leave per year.
- should be provided medical insurance by employer.
- should be accorded with decent accommodation and meals by employer
- should be provided working clothes (if necessary) by employer should be granted right to possession of personal documents such as IDs, passports, etc.
- are prohibited from employing a worker who is below 18 years old.
- are not allowed to assign tasks that are not specified in the employment contract.
- are not allowed to subject worker to physical harm.
- are not allowed to deduct amount of money from worker’s salary, except as payment/repair for damage caused by the worker. Such amount should not exceed 25% of worker’s monthly salary.
Other provisions included under the Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 are:
- A job offer must be presented by the recruitment agency to the worker before he or she leaves his/her home country.
- Tadbeer centers will replace domestic helper recruitment agencies for visa processing, orientation and training of workers.
- Employers have the option to subject domestic workers for probation for six months, under such period an employer may terminate contract. In case of such outcome, recruitment agency will be responsible for sending back the worker to his or her home country.
- One party can decide to terminate an employment contract if the other party fails to meet contract obligations. Termination is still possible despite fulfillment of obligations. This is called a ‘no-fault’ termination and it is subject to compensation as outlined in the Domestic Labour Law.
- If worker resigns from work without proper notification to employer, the worker must inform the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation within two days.
- If worker leaves employer without valid reason, employer must notify the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation within five days.
- In cases of dispute, employer or worker may refer to Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation which will attempt to resolve the matter within two weeks. If case is unresolved, the dispute will proceed to a court. At this stage, cases filed by workers are exempted from court fees.
- Worker must at all times be treated decently at workplace and not exposed to any form of violence.
The new law will be implemented two months after publication in the official gazette. The law applies to 19 support service jobs such as domestic workers, drivers, gardeners, cooks, and others.
For more details of the UAE Labor Law, please refer to the official website.