UAE authorities have told private sector companies to ensure they provide suitable accommodation for low-paid workers.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said companies with 50 or more employees earning no more than Dh1,500 ($410) per month are required to offer housing to them.
The size of living quarters should not be less than three square metres and one-bedroom accommodation should not be inhabited by more than 10 people, rules state.
Accommodation must be well-lit and ventilated and have air conditioning. There must be access to a medical service room, prayer facilities and a laundry room.
“Establishment needs to provide labour accommodation if it has more than 50 workers and their wages are Dh1,500 or less,” the Ministry tweeted.
“The accommodation standards should comply with the general standard guidelines for shared labour accommodation and its service as well as comply with the general standards guideline for shared accommodation dedicated to accommodating less than 500 workers.”
A ministerial resolution issued in 2022 set out the responsibilities of employers.
Establishments must be registered in the labour accommodation system managed by the ministry.
Officials said the aim was to maintain good health and safety standards for workers living in labour accommodation.
Companies are also required to make sure the site accommodation is close to industrial areas or areas presenting job opportunities, is near to an active road network, and has water, sewage systems and emergency exits.
The ministry also said that industrial companies with more than 100 workers should appoint a safety and health officer to prevent hazards and make sure the workers comply with safety procedures.
The employer must provide safety tools and kits for workers, in line with health and safety protocols.