The UAE’s Ministry of Interior has drafted a new law to regulate and protect domestic workers in the country, official news agency WAM reported.
The law is currently in the process of adoption, the report said.
The ministry has also revised and updated a standard form contract, established to regulate the relationship between domestic workers and their employers.
The contract specifies the rights and obligations of each party with regards to the type and nature of work, salary, organisation of work and vacations, travel tickets, livelihood, treatment, communications and correspondence, healthcare, provisions in case of death, the duration of the contract, and disputes that may occur between the parties.
As of June 1, 2014, only the amended version will be used to regulate the relationship between the parties, WAM said. The contract is available on the ministry’s electronic services system.
The interior ministry said it is taking a slew of measures to protect workers’ rights – it has established a committee to monitor domestic worker recruitment agencies and identify violators. A system has also been established to transfer the temporary sponsorship of domestic workers with their approval, to provide flexibility for them to change employers.
Specialised units have been established in the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to receive complaints from domestic workers and to assist in resolving disputes. Workers can also make complaints on a toll-free hotline number.
The ministry said it is also working on awareness-raising initiatives to inform workers of their rights.
Currently, all domestic workers are provided with legal protections under the UAE’s civil transaction law, federal criminal law, and the law on countering human trafficking.
Employers are also required to provide mandatory health insurance to all domestic workers.