UAE unveils 'know your rights' guide for labourers

The information is available in Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Chinese

October 7, 2010, Abu Dhabi, UAE:

The deputy regional director of the ILO gave details of a new program it is working on with the UAE, which aims to improve the rights of workers. It will include legislation covering the operation of recruitment agencies in the country. A seven member team from the organization has been in the country for the past week to finalize the strategy with the Ministry of Labour.

Rohul Amin, a labourer, sits on break from work.

Lee Hoagland / The National
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A handbook informing workers in the private sector of their rights has been unveiled by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Released on Friday, the guide explains in detail important rules that must be followed in order to adhere to UAE laws regarding the employment of workers from abroad.

This includes information on whether to charge employees for recruitment costs, pay for travel to and from the Emirates and how to initiate and end an employment contract.

The guide is available in Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Chinese, and can be downloaded from the ministry's website.

Included in the advice is a list of seven important points every worker in the private sector should know.

These are:

1. The employer is prohibited from imposing recruitment and employment fees on the worker or claiming them directly or indirectly.

2. The employee must sign their employment contract after they arrive in UAE.

3. They must also keep a copy of the job offer that they have signed.

4. The terms and conditions of an employment contract must match those in the job offer the employee signed in their country.

5. The worker must contact the ministry immediately if the employer does not provide them with the agreed-upon job opportunity or if they do not receive their full wages on time.

6. The worker must keep their identification documents in a safe place.

7. The worker has the right leave employment at any time but must be fully aware of the legal obligations.

The guide also answers popular questions such as what is required of a worker before coming to the UAE to work for an employer.

Additional information is given on what must happen once the worker has arrived in the Emirates. This includes:

1. The employer must provide the worker with an “employment contract” to sign upon arrival in the UAE.

2. The employer is responsible for completing the residence visa procedures without charging the employee for it.

3. The employer will need the worker's supporting documents to obtain a residence permit.

4. As soon as the residency visa is issued, the company must return the employee's identification documents.

The ministry advises any worker to call them on the hotline number, 80060, if an employer does not adhere to the rules stated in the guide.

In January, the ministry set up a platform to help to ensure that employers in the UAE are providing appropriate labour accommodation for workers.

Access to the new platform is via the ministry's home page. The platform allows employers and landlords to add information about the accommodation and supporting documents that confirm that health and safety guidelines are being followed.

Updated: March 04, 2022, 12:47 PM