UAE President approves law granting new rights to domestic workers

The law introduces a standard contract and guarantees holiday time and rest hours



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UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued a new law granting guaranteed rights to domestic workers including 30 days of annual leave and minimum rest hours.

The 41-article law has provisions on tariffs, recruitment and employment offices, labour contracts, employer and employee obligations, penalties, holidays, end of service benefits, the termination of the contract and the settlement of disputes.

It applies to 19 domestic worker occupations including sailors, guards, parking valet workers, farmers, gardeners, domestic workers, cooks, and nannies, as well as private trainers, nurses, and drivers.

Among the key details are the stipulation that workers are aware of their contract terms before leaving their home country, the introduction of a standard contract and guaranteed rights and privileges.

Read: New UAE domestic worker law to guarantee rest days, paid vacation

These include that wages are paid within 10 days of being due, the entitlement of one day’s rest per week and 12 hours of rest per day, including eight hours of consecutive rest, and 30 days of paid vacation a year.

“The law is characterised by its coverage of all stages of the contractual work cycle through a set of provisions that lay out obligations of all parties, including recruitment offices involved with the mediation of the temporary employment of workers,” said Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, minister of human resources and Emiratisation.

Ghobash said the ministry was close to finalising the executive regulations of the law and the models of labour contracts in preparation for implementation.

The law will officially take effect two months after its publication in the official gazette.