UAE's new domestic worker law comes into force today
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UAE’s new domestic worker law comes into force today

UAE’s new domestic worker law comes into force today

The law stipulates providing an appropriate work environment for domestic workers

Domestic workers

The new domestic worker law that aims to regulate the employment of domestic help in the UAE, comes into effect today, December 15.

The Federal Decree-Law No. (9) of 2022 establishes a framework to regulate labour relations for the employment of the domestic workers in the country, and defines the responsibilities of the parties that safeguards their rights and duties.

It also stipulates providing an appropriate work environment for domestic workers in accordance with legislation and international agreements in force in the UAE.

According to the new law, recruitment or temporary employment of domestic workers is only allowed if a relevant license from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) is obtained.

Recruitment or employment of a domestic worker under the age of 18 years is strictly prohibited.

Domestic workers must not be recruited from their country unless they are informed of the nature of the work, salary and other benefits, according to the law. Proof of fitness, health conditions, psychological and occupational status should also be made available prior to employment.

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

The employment contract must be based on the format approved by MoHRE, and should include the specified period of recruitment as well as basic obligations that the employer remains committed to.  It should also outline the employer’s relevant financial obligations to bring the worker from their country to the UAE as well as the recruitment agency fees.

In the event of violations of conditions by the recruitment agency, an alternative worker should be provided, or a refund of the recruitment fees should be made to the employer.

The agencies are prohibited, whether directly or through third parties, from charging any commissions or fees for the worker’s employment. They are obliged to treat the domestic worker in a humane manner and to make them aware of local culture and traditions as well as inform them about the relevant authorities to voice any complains about their rights.

Employers are to provide suitable living accommodations for domestic helpers; meals and appropriate clothing as long as help was 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 decree grants the domestic worker the right to keep their personal identification documents as well as stipulates the guidelines to grant the heirs of the domestic worker who dies during service in the UAE.

Meanwhile, the worker must perform the work as per the guidance and supervision of the employer and in accordance with the employment contract.

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.

If the domestic worker wishes to travel to their country for annual leave, the employer shall bear the value of the round-trip fare once every two years. If the two parties agree to terminate or not renew the work contract after the annual leave, the employer shall bear a one-way ticket only for the domestic worker to their home country.

The employer is not obligated to pay the expenses of the worker’s return to their country if the worker joins another job, in accordance with the provisions of this law and its executive regulations.

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