UAE: You can hire domestic help only from Tadbeer from March

Step-by-step guide to hire a maid in UAE

  
Chambermaids making bed in hotel room. Image for illustrative purposes only.

Chambermaids making bed in hotel room. Image for illustrative purposes only.

Getty Images/ Alistair Berg

UAE - Citizens and expats will have to hire domestic helpers only from Tadbeer centres from March when government completes shutting down all private recruiting agencies for housemaids.

Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), on Tuesday told members of the Federal National Council (FNC) that the ministry closed 250 recruitment offices for domestic workers in the UAE after their licences had expired. The remaining 10 offices will be shut down in March. The move is to streamline the hiring of this category of blue-collar employees in the country and to better protect their rights.

Al Hamli said Tadbeer centres whose services are regulated by MoHRE have replaced the agencies for recruiting domestic helpers.

These centres are now responsible for bringing housemaids, nannies and other domestic workers from abroad.

Tadbeer recruitment centres were set up by the ministry three years ago and there are now 54 across the UAE.

These centres have set a new standard for the provision of services to domestic workers, protect their rights, enable access to better information and training, and ensure that working conditions and accommodation are complied with.

The Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 on support service workers covers 19 service work occupations, which include sailors, guards, parking valet workers, farmers, gardeners, domestic workers, cooks, and nannies, as well as private trainers, nurses, and drivers.

Mohsin Salem, an Egyptian expat in Abu Dhabi, said when their housemaid hired from a recruitment agent left early last year before her contract ended, he went and employed one from Tadbeer.

“I found the process to get a new housemaid much easier at Tadbeer. I was provided with a housemaid who was well trained and knew the house chores,’ said Salem. “They also offered me a guarantee that she will honour her contract.”

Misimi Charles, another UAE resident, said the government is closing private agencies so that it takes control of the recruitment of domestic workers. "It is such a good step and will help protect the rights of both the workers and employers,” he averred.

“I know a few nannies who came to the UAE to look for greener pastures but ended up disappointed and depressed due to the maltreatment of their bosses. They were also not paid and their recruitment agents did nothing.”

How they are recruited at Tadbeer

According to authorities, Tadbeer centres guarantee a visa, orientation and training to domestic workers.

Tadbeer centres provide customers with four packages to choose from to recruit domestic helpers. These include:

-Direct sponsorship: In this package, Tadbeer centres recruit domestic helpers from outside the UAE and guarantee their performance and loyalty for 180 days, while their visa will be under direct sponsorship of the employing family.

-Direct sponsorship after 6 months: This package allows families to hire a worker on a temporary basis for six months after which, the helper’s visa can be transferred under the family sponsorship on the agreement of both parties.

-Tadbeer sponsorship: The third package provides the option of hiring workers under the sponsorship of the Tadbeer centre.

-Time-based packages: This package provides on-demand services that allow families to hire a helper under the sponsorship of Tadbeer centres to provide flexible services according to the requirements of the customers.

What they are entitled to

As per the domestic labour law, domestic workers are entitled to payment of wages, as set out in the standard contract, within 10 days from the day they are due, one day of paid rest per week, 12 hours of rest per day, including 8 hours consecutive rest, 30 days paid vacation per year, medical insurance provided by the employer. They are also entitled to 30 days medical leave per year, a round trip ticket home every 2 years, a decent accommodation, decent meals at the employer’s expense and so on.

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