Do you know the rights of your domestic workers in Dubai?

domestics workers in the uae

In June 2017, the Federal National Council passed a new law for the protection of domestic workers. Under Federal Law No. 10 of 2017, 19 occupations are classified as domestic work. These labor categories are under the protection of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE).

Who are the domestic workers in Dubai?

According to Federal Law 10, also known as the Domestic Work Law, the following occupations are classified as domestic:

  • Housekeeper
  • Private sailor
  • Guard and security guard
  • Housekeeper
  • Family driver
  • Parking lot valet
  • Home-based horse groomer
  • Home-based falcon trainer and groomer
  • Domestic worker
  • Housekeeper
  • Private trainer
  • Private teacher
  • Baby-sitter/nanny
  • Household farmer
  • Gardener
  • Private Nurse
  • Private agricultural engineer
  • Cook

Domestic workers’ rights

In accordance with the Domestic Work Act, domestic workers are entitled to the following benefits

  • Payment of their wages as specified in the employment contract. Wages must be paid within 10 days of the date they are due. Recently, the authorities have reminded that companies that do not respect this deadline risk fines of AED 50,000.
  • 1 day of paid rest per week
  • 12 hours of rest per day, including 8 consecutive hours of rest
  • 30 days paid vacation per year
  • Medical insurance provided by the employer
  • 30 days of medical leave per year
  • A return ticket home every 2 years
  • Decent housing
  • Decent meals at employer’s expense
  • Clothing appropriate to the work to be performed, at the employer’s expense
  • Possession of their personal identity papers such as passport, identity card, etc. It is strictly forbidden for the employer to hold the identity documents of their household staff.
  • Either the employer or the worker can submit a dispute to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. The department will attempt to resolve the dispute amicably within two weeks. If it is not resolved within two weeks, the matter will be referred to a court.
  • Cases filed by workers are exempt from court fees at all stages of the dispute and must be heard promptly and without delay.

Legal Prohibitions

The law is very clear and the domestic work bill prohibits the following:

  • The employment of any person under the age of 18
  • Discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion and political opinion (note that not all nationalities are eligible)
  • Sexual harassment, whether verbal or physical
  • Forced labor or trafficking, in accordance with national law and ratified international conventions
  • Exposure to physical harm
  • Assignment of tasks not covered by the contract.

Obligations of domestic workers

Domestic workers have rights but they also have obligations to respect.

Among their obligations, there are:

  • The worker must perform the work himself.
  • The worker must observe the customs and traditions of the society and conform to the
    public morals.
  • The worker must respect the confidentiality clause and not disclose any confidential information related to the employer’s work – violating this clause is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of between AED 10,000 and 100,000.
  • The worker must inform the Ministry of any change of residence.
  • The worker is required to perform his duties according to the employer’s specifications.

Procedure for hiring and recruiting domestic staff

Before, it was the agencies that handled the hiring process of the domestic staff, but according to the new rules, it is now the TADBEER centers that handle the process.

TADBEER centers are regulated by MOHRE, they now recruit the domestic staff and only TADBEER is responsible for contract formation, visa application, training, cancellation and disputes.

There are different ways to sponsor a domestic worker, here they are

  • Direct Sponsorship: in this arrangement, the center hires domestic workers from outside the UAE and gives the employers a guarantee that the employees are performing and loyal for 180 days (6 months). The employees’ visa will be placed under the direct sponsorship of the family that employs them under this program.
  • Tadbeer Sponsorship: In this formula, domestic workers will be hired under the Tadbeer Sponsorship. The latter provides flexible services according to the needs of the employing family at a unified cost for all nationalities. We can assist you if you choose this option.

Our firm, in close association with Tadbeer, can assist you in the process of employing a maid or a domestic worker.

We invite you to contact us at support@merritt.group.