Private: Are you treating them right? Understand the domestic workers’ rights!

22 Jun, 2020

Lately, employment and work-related disputes have been the focus of legal practitioners and employees/workers affected by the current economic and health crisis the whole world is facing.

The UAE Jurist receives daily dozens of queries about workers’ rights and obligations. This fact has determined us to create a series of articles that will stress on the central issues arising from work disputes.

In UAE, domestic workers’ employment regulations are outlined in the Federal Law No. 10 of 2017, herein and after referred to as “the Law.”

In a nutshell, the Law has defined the 19 categories of workers that fall under its provision, as follows: domestic helper, sailor, security guard, shepherd, jockey, camel trainer, falconer, worker, housekeeper, cook, nanny, farmer, gardener, personal trainer, private teacher, private nurse, special representative, private agricultural engineer, and private driver. These are the only occupations for which the Federal Law no.10 of 2017 is applicable.

The recruitment agencies for the domestic workers, also known as Tadbeer, operate under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Tadbeer centers provide the appropriate work visas, advice, guidance, and training for the domestic service workers.

Workers can be brought to the UAE only after the recruitment agency informed them about the type and nature of work, the amount of the comprehensive wage (basic wage and the remuneration and any other benefits stipulated in the employment contract), and only after they passed all medical examinations.

The work terms and conditions are governed by the employment contract model approved by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Each employment agreement will be drafted in 4 copies (one for the Employee, one for the Employer, one for the Recruitment agency, and one for the Ministry of Human Resources).

Should any dispute arise between worker and Employer, both are entitled to file a complaint to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Under the Law, domestic workers are relieved from litigation fees in all phases, and their claims should be promptly investigated.

What are the worker’s entitlements and rights

  • The salary as stipulated in the contract signed by the parties, within 10 days of the due date
  • One day off per week; however, he may be employed on his weekly day rest, for which he will be allowed to have another day off or allowance as compensation
  • Daily rest must be minimum of 12 hours, provided that the worker shall not work for more than 8 continuous hours.
  • Annual leave for 30 days per calendar year
  • Medical insurance at the Employer’s expense
  • Medical yearly leave for 30 day; the first 15 days will be paid the full amount of the worker’s wage and the next 15 days will be unpaid
  • Two-way travel tickets every 2 years at the Employer’s expense
  • Appropriate accommodation
  • Appropriate meals on the Employer’s expense
  • Appropriate work clothing, if required on the Employer’s expense

Article number 3 of the Law, states that the employment of workers under 18 years of age is prohibited in all cases. The same article forbids the following:

  • Forced labor or any practices deemed human trafficking, in accordance with state laws or ratified agreements
  • Exposing the worker to work conditions that may cause physical harm.
  • The discrimination between workers based on race, color, sex, religion or political opinion
  • Sexual harassment, whether verbal or physical

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