DUBAI // The Ministry of Labour is replacing work cards with electronic permits that can be accessed by employers and employees.
Employment contracts will also move to an electronic format and all status documents will be linked to the Emirates ID card.
The system is being tested and the ministry is asking for consumer feedback.
There are plans to bring it online on Sunday next week.
All new requests will be handled electronically and the ministry says documents will be received within 48 hours.
Those already employed will not have to replace their labour cards until their contracts are renewed.
“We studied the use of the labour card, spoke with a number of our customers and found that the card has become redundant,” said Humaid Al Suwaidi, assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour.
“All of the data is linked to the Ministry of Interior system and the Emirates ID Authority. We are very proud of our cooperation with government partners.”
Mr Al Suwaidi stressed that employers would still have to process employees’ labour documents on time or face fines, and that Emirates ID cards would not be issued until the process was completed.
“Employers have 60 days from when the employee enters the country to process all documents.
“Any employer that fails to do so will be fined Dh1,000 for every month, or part of a month, they delay submitting the documents,” Mr Al Suwaidi said.
“Companies will also have their file blocked and will not be able to process any other documents until this is cleared. Special cases will be reviewed individually.
“Issuing of Emirates ID and other documents will not be possible without completing this process first.”
He said employment contracts were still mandatory but would no longer have to be submitted as hard copies.
“We are not relinquishing the labour contract,” Mr Al Suwaidi said. “Contracts ensure the rights of the worker and the employer.
“Both employer and employee can log on to the system to access all of their documents and print out what they need. The data is secure and private.
“This falls in line with the Government’s endeavours to offer all services electronically. We are encouraging people to use electronic means so we don’t keep asking people to bring hard copies.
“The ministry is migrating 99 per cent of its services to smart services.”
The goal is to make things easier for everyone, he said.
“This will save time, effort and money,” Mr Al Suwaidi said. “All fees will remain the same, except there will be no fees to replace lost cards as they can print out as many as they like.”