The UAE will introduce an optional online salary payment system for domestic workers from Thursday, January 27 as part of efforts to safeguard their employment rights.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is encouraging families to adopt the Wage Protection System, which is widely used in the construction sector and other industries, to pay staff such as maids and nannies.
Employers can pay through bank transfers, exchange offices, or other financial institutions authorised by the UAE Central Bank.
The scheme aims to protect the rights of both domestic helpers and employers, the ministry said.
“It helps employers prove that wage payments were made on time,” said Khalil Khoury, assistant undersecretary for domestic worker affairs at the ministry.
“It also ensures domestic helpers receive their salaries on time every month.”
He said the system would help cement a stable work relationship between domestic staff and their employers.
The scheme applies to all domestic working professions covered by law, including housemaids, nannies, housekeepers, cooks, family drivers, gardeners and private teachers.
“It provides an easier, faster and digitally advanced channel to pay salaries,” said Mr Khalil.
Employers can also use smart applications provided by their banks to pay salaries of domestic workers.
The Wage Protection System was first introduced in 2009 for the use of private companies.
It is now being extended for the use of families who also serve as employers of domestic staff.
“Since being launched 13 years ago, WPS has helped maintain a stable and transparent work relationship between workers and employers in the private sector,” said Mr Khalil.
It is the latest drive by UAE authorities to support domestic workers.
In January, 2021, the ministry announced plans to shut all non-government maid-hiring agencies by March to better protect the rights of workers and employers.
It said citizens and residents would have to hire domestic workers from Tadbeer, a network of service centres.
Tadbeer recruitment offices were set up by the ministry in 2018. There are 54 nationwide.