New government-backed service to regulate hiring of domestic workers



​​DUBAI // Government-backed recruitment centres for domestic workers will protect low-income labour from being exploited, legal and diplomatic professionals say.

A new service will replace private recruitment agencies that bring maids and others into the country, in an overhaul of the industry.

Only companies that meet strict criteria will be allowed to work for Tadbeer, a network of labour ministry-regulated centres that will open this autumn.

The Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi welcomed the move, saying complaints about recruitment companies were widespread. Maids and others had been victims of unscrupulous recruitment agencies based in the UAE and overseas.

Common complaints included agreeing to a salary before they left their home country only to find it was much lower when they arrived.

Domestic workers would now be regulated by the Ministry ofHuman Resources and Emiratisation, in line with the rest of the workforce.

Until now, maids had been overseen by the Ministry of Interior, meaning complaints about their treatment had to be made directly to police, which could quickly escalate disputes.

“This is a very good thing for domestic workers because they will now be under the protection of labour laws,” said Dinesh Kumar, first secretary at the Indian embassy.

Barney Almazar, a legal consultant from Gulf Law in Dubai who carries out work for the Philippine embassy, said it was common for recruiters to require new expats to pay for their visas.

The practice is illegal, but many expats are unaware of labour laws, or fear losing their job if they do not pay.

The Tadbeer system would root out any attempts by recruiters to scam jobseekers, Mr Almazar said.

“The new system will be helpful in reducing the number of cases of illegal charging for visas,” he said. “If the cost for a visa is US$2,000 [Dh7,344], that is a huge amount of money for a domestic worker. People sell their land to afford it.

“Even though it is already prohibited in the UAE to charge employees for the visa or deduct it from their salaries, it still happens. For an accountant or an engineer it might not be much, but for a domestic worker it is a lot.”

Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said that private companies were invited to apply to operate the centres.

“Tadbeer centres will set a new standard for the provision of services to domestic workers, enabling access to better information and training, and ensuring that working conditions and accommodations are appropriate,” Mr Ghobash said.

Staff at the centres will conduct interviews with domestic workers to ensure they understand their contractual rights, are trained and have the right education.

They will also resolve disputes between workers and employees and monitor worker housing and accommodation.

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae

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Recipe

Garlicky shrimp in olive oil
Gambas Al Ajillo

Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

180ml extra virgin olive oil; 4 to 5 large cloves of garlic, minced or pureed (or 3 to 4 garlic scapes, roughly chopped); 1 or 2 small hot red chillies, dried (or ¼ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes); 400g raw prawns, deveined, heads removed and tails left intact; a generous splash of sweet chilli vinegar; sea salt flakes for seasoning; a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a terracotta dish or frying pan. Once the oil is sizzling hot, add the garlic and chilli, stirring continuously for about 10 seconds until golden and aromatic.

Add a splash of sweet chilli vinegar and as it vigorously simmers, releasing perfumed aromas, add the prawns and cook, stirring a few times.

Once the prawns turn pink, after 1 or 2 minutes of cooking, remove from the heat and season with sea salt flakes.

Once the prawns are cool enough to eat, scatter with parsley and serve with small forks or toothpicks as the perfect sharing starter. Finish off with crusty bread to soak up all that flavour-infused olive oil.

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Stars: Gang Dong-won, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Ra

Director: ​Yeon Sang-ho

Rating: 2/5

SPECS

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
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SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
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Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

The specs

Engine: 3.0 twin-turbo inline six-cylinder
Transmission: eight-speed
Power: 503hp
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RESULT

Esperance de Tunis 1 Guadalajara 1 
(Esperance won 6-5 on penalties)
Esperance: Belaili 38’
Guadalajara: Sandoval 5’

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

The specs: 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn

Price, base / as tested: Dhxxx
Engine: 5.7L V8
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 395hp @ 5,600rpm
Torque: 556Nm @ 3,950rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 12.7L / 100km

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The Super Mario Bros Movie

Directors: Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic
Stars: Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Seth Rogen and Keegan-Michael Key
Rating: 1/5

More from Armen Sarkissian
Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
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Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

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Saturday Valencia v Athletic Bilbao (5pm), Getafe v Sevilla (7.15pm), Huesca v Alaves (9.30pm), Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid (midnight)

Sunday Real Sociedad v Eibar (5pm), Real Betis v Villarreal (7.15pm), Elche v Granada (9.30pm), Barcelona v Levante (midnight)

Monday Celta Vigo v Cadiz (midnight)

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Gertrude Bell's life in focus

A feature film

At one point, two feature films were in the works, but only German director Werner Herzog’s project starring Nicole Kidman would be made. While there were high hopes he would do a worthy job of directing the biopic, when Queen of the Desert arrived in 2015 it was a disappointment. Critics panned the film, in which Herzog largely glossed over Bell’s political work in favour of her ill-fated romances.

A documentary

A project that did do justice to Bell arrived the next year: Sabine Krayenbuhl and Zeva Oelbaum’s Letters from Baghdad: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Gertrude Bell. Drawing on more than 1,000 pieces of archival footage, 1,700 documents and 1,600 letters, the filmmakers painstakingly pieced together a compelling narrative that managed to convey both the depth of Bell’s experience and her tortured love life.

Books, letters and archives

Two biographies have been written about Bell, and both are worth reading: Georgina Howell’s 2006 book Queen of the Desert and Janet Wallach’s 1996 effort Desert Queen. Bell published several books documenting her travels and there are also several volumes of her letters, although they are hard to find in print. Original documents are housed at the Gertrude Bell Archive at the University of Newcastle, which has an online catalogue.
 

Scores

Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool
Arsenal 1-0 Huddersfield Town
Burnley 1-0 Brighton
Manchester United 4-1 Fulham
West Ham 3-2 Crystal Palace

Saturday fixtures:
Chelsea v Manchester City, 9.30pm (UAE)
Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, 11.45pm (UAE)


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