Domestic helpers in UAE cannot be hired from home country without knowing nature of work, wages Domestic helpers in UAE cannot be hired from home country without knowing nature of work, wages
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Domestic help in UAE cannot be hired from home country without knowing nature of work, wages

Domestic help in UAE cannot be hired from home country without knowing nature of work, wages

Domestic helpers must present evidence of their fitness, health, psychological, and professional competence before being recruited

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Domestic helpers may not be recruited from their home country before being informed of the nature of work and the wages, a new law has mandated.

Domestic helpers must also present evidence of their fitness, health, psychological, and professional competence to complete the work required, before being recruited, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has said.

The new law, which comes into effect on December 15, aims to regulate the employment of domestic helpers in the UAE, and balances the rights and responsibilities of all relevant parties involved, MoHRE said.

“The UAE continues to establish a legislative framework that safeguards domestic helpers,” the ministry stressed in a statement.

“The ministry is keen on building on the UAE’s achievements in supporting domestic helpers by committing to its role in overseeing the enforcing laws, decisions, and legislation that would regulate recruitment and employment of domestic helpers in line with international best practices during the contractual period.”

The decree stipulates that it is mandated upon employers to provide an appropriate environment for performing the agreed work. Employers are to provide suitable living accommodations for the domestic helpers; meals and appropriate clothing as long as domestic helpers were hired on a full-time basis and not on temporary contracts, except if agreed otherwise.

The employer’s obligations also include paying the wages of domestic helpers as per their contracts; covering their medical treatment costs under the framework the UAE’s health system; and treating them in a dignified manner.

The employer is also prohibited from employing any domestic helper unless he or she is licenced to do so. Also, the latter should not be asked to work for others or in a profession different from the nature of his work mentioned in the work permit, except under the helper’s consent and if it is one of the professions mentioned in the executive regulations of this law-decree.

According to the law, the domestic helper is entitled to a weekly rest day. The helper may be employed on his or her weekly rest day but is entitled to an alternative rest day or a cash equivalent. The helper’s daily rest must not be less than 12 hours per day, subject to a minimum of at least eight continuous hours’ rest.

The annual leave should not be less than 30 paid days for each year, and if the domestic helper is asked to work during all or part of the annual leave, and the period is not carried over to the following year, the employer must grant the helper the wages plus a leave allowance equal to the wages for the days he/she worked in that period, bearing in mind that the domestic helper may not be asked to work during his/her annual leave more than once during two consecutive years.

If the domestic helper wishes to travel to the home country to spend his/her annual leave, the employer shall pay the value of a two-way ticket once for every two years, and if the two parties agree to terminate or not renew the employment contract after the annual leave, the employer shall pay for a one-way ticket only.

Recruitment offices, whether directly or through third parties, are prohibited from accepting a commission in return for obtaining work or incurring any expenses from the domestic helpers, the law ordained.

The decree also covers the obligations of recruitment agents, which include treating domestic helpers in a humane way, not exposing them to violence, and raising awareness of the relevant authorities they must contact shou

The decree mandates that a domestic helper must perform the work according to the direction and supervision of the employer and in accordance with what is specified in the contract, take the necessary care and not stop work without an acceptable excuse. They must also observe the traditions of the UAE society.

The domestic helper must also respect the privacy of the workplace, preserve the employer’s property, work tools and everything in his custody, and not use them outside work except with the approval of the employer.

The new law stipulates that the recruitment or temporary employment of domestic helpers shall not be allowed unless after obtaining a licence from the ministry, and that the employment of domestic helpers shall not be permitted except in accordance with the conditions stipulated in this law.

It also stipulates that the recruitment of a domestic helper under the age of 18 is prohibited. There must be no discrimination among domestic helpers on the basis of race, sex, religion, nationality, social status, or disability, during the recruitment.

The law grants the domestic helper the right to transfer to a new employer, provided that all contractual requirements are fulfilled. In the event of a dispute between the employer and the domestic helper and the inability to settle it amicably, it must be referred to MoHRE, which has the right to take a decision as it deems appropriate.

The law also allows the employer to refuse to employ the domestic helper if the recruitment office violates the terms agreed upon in the contract.

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