Good News for Filipinos in UAE! Especially those in the Domestic Sector. A law stipulating working conditions for domestic workers, including a regular weekly day off, 30 days of paid annual leave and the right to retain personal documents, was approved by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it was announced on Tuesday.
Either the employer or the worker can refer a dispute to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The ministry will attempt to resolve the dispute amicably within a period of two weeks. If no resolution is reached, then the matter will be referred to a court. Under this law, cases filed by workers are exempted from court fees at all stages of litigation and must be heard in a speedy and prompt manner.
The law prohibits the following:
• employment of anyone under the age 18;
• exposure to physical harm’ and
• assignment of tasks that are not covered under the contract.
This new initiative was done in order to regulate the UAE’s domestic worker industry in line with international standards as per, Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, told the House.
According to the new law, domestic workers must be extended rights to equality and non-discrimination based on race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion or national or social sect.
There are around 750,000 domestic workers in the UAE, making up nearly 20 per cent of the expatriate workforce, according to official statistics. As many as 65 per cent of them are based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
The new law will have 18 years as a minimum age for a domestic worker, which is consistent with the international rules on elimination of child labour.
Placement agencies have to ensure that the domestic workers are informed of the terms and conditions of their employment such as the nature of work, the workplace, the remuneration and the period of daily and weekly rest as set out by the executive regulations before they cross their national borders.
The new centres called Tadbeer, which will replace domestic worker recruitment agencies by the end of the year, will guarantee proper visa, orientation and training for the workers, Ghobash said.
Ghobash added that 65 private companies applied to operate the centres, whose services will be mandated and regulated by the ministry.
No amount of money may be deducted from a worker’s salary or end-of-service gratuity except for a debt payable in execution of a court ruling or repair of any damage caused by the worker, provided that the deduction shall not exceed a quarter of the worker’s salary. If a dispute arises, it has to be settled by the special tribunals at the Ministry of Human Resources or be referred to the court.
The new professions under the domestic helpers’ category (only for households, not companies) are:
source: Read more on Gulf News