DUBAI- The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has warned employers and national and resident families of the risks of dealing with unlicensed domestic labour recruitment agencies, including unreliable social media pages that promote the services of this category of workers.

The ministry confirmed that dealing with approved recruitment agencies guarantees the rights of all parties, in accordance with the Domestic Workers Law and its Executive Regulations, pointing to the intensification of oversight over approved recruitment agencies to ensure their legal obligations, especially in terms of adherence to the prices of packages that are determined by the ministry, in line with recruitment costs from the countries sending this category of workers.

It further explained that recruitment offices offer the "traditional package," in which the worker is registered on the employer's records and resides with him during the two year contract period and its duration, which is the period during which the office guarantees the domestic worker, so this package allows the employer to replace the worker or recover the costs of recruitment in the event of any of the following four cases during the first six months of the contract, which is the probationary period. These cases include: the worker’s termination of the contract without a legitimate reason; leaving him to work without an acceptable reason; the level of fitness of a health worker; his inability to carry out his work tasks in the required and agreed manner.

Part of the recruitment costs shall be refunded in the event of two cases occurring during the post-trial period until the expiry date of the two-year contract, as both cases include the worker’s termination of the contract after the probationary period without a legitimate reason, or his leaving the work after the probationary period without an acceptable reason. These refunded amounts are based upon the remaining period of the contract in months from the total cost of recruitment.

The recruitment offices of domestic workers also offer a "temporary package" where a trained and qualified assistant worker is provided within 24 hours, and this worker is registered with the office for a contractual period of two years, during which the worker is not allowed to move, being a resident assistant worker with the employer.

The offices also offer the flexible package, which provides an assistant worker registered with the recruitment office to work in a flexible system (hours - days - week - month), and the cost of recruitment is based upon the type of employment.

This package has a set of benefits, including the provision of qualified and trained domestic workers, the number of replacement times is not specified, and the period of providing the worker is within a maximum of 24 hours.

The ministry pointed out five risks that employers and national and resident families may be exposed to in the event of dealing with entities that bring in this category of workers without the necessary licenses from the ministry, exposing the employer to legal accountability when employing a contravening assistant worker.

The ministry also noted the possibility of the employer and his family contracting infectious diseases, as there is no evidence that the violating assistant worker is free of these diseases, as well as the possibility that the assistant worker is a criminal, wanted person, or involved in acts violating the laws. The ministry indicated that it has sought, during the last period, to diversify the nationalities of domestic workers, who are the most sought after by employers and national and resident families, by concluding memoranda of cooperation with the labour sending countries, which would control the recruitment process and guarantee the rights of all parties, as well as the periodic review of fees according to the recruitment costs of each of these countries.

The nationalities of the domestic workers in the UAE include Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal and India. The ministry affirmed its endeavour to develop services related to domestic workers to meet the needs and requirements of employers and national and resident families, while at the same time facilitating access to the services provided by the ministry.

In this regard, services are available to cancel and renew residence permits of domestic workers, and to register a complaint about his/her interruption from work, by shortening the steps to complete these services, as a first stage of the development of all services related to domestic workers, which are available through the Ministry’s smart application in the Google Play and Apple Stores, in the website www.mohre.gov.ae as well as the call centre on the toll-free number 80060.

The employer can complete any of the services of cancelling or renewing the residence permit of the domestic worker, or registering a complaint of work interruption through the smart application of the ministry without the need to enter the password and user name, where the employer must enter his identity card number and date of birth, as well as enter the verification code in the image that appears in front of him in the application, where a text message will be sent to him with an OTP verification code on his mobile phone number registered with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

The employer must enter the verification code sent to him and choose the worker required to perform the service on his file, as well as enter the required data and pay the fees, as the request will be sent directly to the authority for processing, and an email will be sent to the employer with the payment receipt and a copy of the notarised contract, in the case of the residence permit renewal service for an assistant worker.

The ministry has called upon employers to take advantage of the benefits of paying the wages of domestic workers through the Wage Protection System, as the system allows them to pay wages on time, in the easiest way and in a manner that preserves their right to prove the payment process.

The Wage Protection System, which is optional, allows employers to pay wages through the system, whether through cash transfers to banks and money exchanges that provide the service, registered and approved with the UAE Central Bank, or through the smart applications of these agencies, after contracting with them, in accordance with the procedures followed.

The system includes all domestic labour categories, which include the employee, sailor, housekeeper, cook, guard, private driver, shepherd, groomer, falconer, worker, housekeeper, farmer, gardener, private trainer, private teacher, private nurse, special representative and private agricultural engineer.