After several reports and news about the abuse that the Overseas Filipino Workers are suffering from and the recent employment ban in Kuwait that President Rodrigo Duterte imposed, the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has recently approved the Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 that will protect the domestic workers working in UAE.
What Is It All About?
The Federal Law No. 10 is a 41-article law that includes provisions on the labor contracts, working hours, recruitment agencies, official leaves, and settlement of disputes of domestic workers.
According to Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash of the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, this law aims to regulate the working relationship between the employees and the employers. It also aims to provide legal protection for all parties involved.
According to this new law, domestic workers in UAE are entitled to the following:
- Payment of wages to be given no later than the 10th of the following month
- 12 hours of rest per day which includes 8 hours of consecutive rest
- One day of paid rest every week
- 30 days of medical leave per year
- Medical insurance provided by the employer
- Round-trip ticket to the Philippines every two years
- Decent accommodation and meals provided by the employer
- Possession of personal documents like passports, IDs, etc.
This new law also prohibits:
- Employing a worker who is below 18 years old
- Assigning tasks that are not specified in the labor contract
- Exposing the domestic helper to physical harm
Other Rules and Regulations
In addition to the entitlements and prohibitions, there are other terms included in this new law:
- The recruitment agency must present a copy of the job offer to the worker before he or she leaves his or her home country.
The labor contract, which indicates the terms and conditions of the employment, must be accredited by the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
- The Tadbeer centers, which will replace the recruitment agencies soon, will be the one to facilitate orientations, training, and proper visas for the workers.
- The domestic helper may be employed on probation for the first six months. During this period, the employer may decide to terminate the contract. The recruitment agency should bear the cost of sending the worker to his or her home country.
- The employer should not deduct any amount of money from the worker’s salary or end-of-service pay, except if there is debt or damages to pay. If this is the case, the deduction should be made not more than one-quarter of the salary.
- The employer or the worker may decide to terminate the contract if any of the party fails to meet the obligations. Even if obligations are met, either party may still terminate the contract based on a no-fault termination indicated in the Domestic Labor Law.
- If the worker resigns without telling the employer, the worker must inform the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation within two days. If the worker leaves without a valid reason, the employer must inform the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation within five days.
- The employer or the worker may refer a dispute to the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, who will then try to resolve the matter amicably within two weeks. If the issue is still unresolved, the dispute will be referred to court. During this stage, cases filed by a worker will be exempted from court fees.
- The worker must be treated decently and should not be exposed to any form of violence at all times.
When Will It Be Implemented?
This new law will be implemented two months after its publication in the official gazette.
Who Are Covered?
It will cover 19 support service jobs:
- Babysitter or nanny
- Domestic laborer
- Family chauffeur
- Household farmer
- Household shepherd
- Household horse groomer
- Household falcon care-taker and trainer
- Parking valet workers
- Private agriculture engineer
- Private coach
- Private nurse
- Private PRO
- Private sailor
- Private teacher
- Watchman and security guard
This new law will surely improve the lives of OFWs in the United Arab Emirates.