The authorities sent out the advisory ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, a period when the demand for domestic worker services usually increases.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) has called on employers, UAE nationals, and residents to hire domestic workers only from approved recruitment agencies — and not through social media pages that are randomly offering maid services.

Mohre issued the advisory on Tuesday, just a few days ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, when the demand for domestic worker services usually increases. Considering such a trend in previous years, "unreliable pages and accounts on social media start promoting this kind of employment to attract those looking to hire domestic workers," the ministry said.

Dealing with unauthorised agencies comes not only with legal consequences but also social and health risks, the ministry added. With such schemes, residents might end up employing untrained maids, plus they won't be able to get any service guarantees, unlike what is provided by Mohre-approved agencies.

“This is in addition to the possibility of the employers and their family members getting exposed to infectious diseases since there is no proof these domestic workers are free from any health conditions or disease. The domestic worker could be a law violator, too, which would add to the risks,” the ministry said.

Under the country's new domestic workers law — which took effect on December 15, 2022 — only licensed agencies are allowed to offer maid services.

“There are 80 domestic worker recruitment offices approved by the ministry across the country, and they can be accessed from the list of approved offices via the Ministry’s website and social media pages. These offices work in line with the Federal Decree-Law No. (9) of 2022 Regarding Domestic Workers that came into force on December 15, 2022.”

Those who would like to check the reliability of agencies they are planning to transact with may call Mohre on 600590000.

3 packages to choose from

Residents can opt for three official packages when hiring domestic workers through licensed private agencies.

Through this option, the maid is registered on the employer's file and resides with them during the contract period of two years.

The first six months of the contract is considered a trial period ‚ during which the employer can get the worker replaced or recover the recruitment costs if:

A trained and qualified domestic worker is provided within 24 hours, and this worker is registered with the agency for a contractual period of two years.

Under this scheme, the worker remains under the office’s sponsorship with a renewable two-year contract, during which the worker will not be allowed to move in with the employing family.

This provides a flexible-based work pattern (hours-days-week-month) and the cost of recruitment is calculated as per the nature of work. This package has a set of advantages that include providing qualified and trained domestic workers and an unlimited number of replacements. The period of providing the worker is within 24 hours.

New categories from April 1

Mohre also renewed its call for employers to register their domestic workers in the Wage Protection System (WPS).

It added that starting April 1, five professions must be registered in the system: private agricultural engineer, Public Relations Officer (PRO), housekeeper, personal tutor, and personal trainer.

Domestic workers who have a pending labour complaint — or are unemployed, or have a registered notice of absence-from-work — are excluded from being registered. Those who are yet to complete 30 days since the start of their employment contract are also not covered.

The 19 professions that fall under the domestic worker category are: housemaid, sailor/boatman, security guard, household shepherd, household horse groomer, household falcon trainer, physical labour worker, housekeeper, cook, nanny/babysitter, farmer, gardener, personal driver, private agricultural engineer, Public Relations Officer (PRO), personal nurse, personal tutor, and personal trainer.

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