Rights of Pakistani workers to be protected under new UAE agreement

Pakistani workers and their prospective employers must sign a job offer letter before travelling to the Emirates

The rights and wages of hundreds of thousands of Pakistani workers will be protected following an agreement signed between their country and the UAE.

All workers, along with their employer, must sign a job offer document before travelling to the Emirates from their homeland.

The employment offer letter will specify the rights and obligation of both the worker and employer, according to an official agreement reached between authorities in Pakistan and the UAE.

This would ensure a legal and risk-free working environment for Pakistani workers, the Pakistani embassy in Abu Dhabi said.

The offer letter would be the basis of an employment contract to be registered later in the UAE.

The deal with the UAE would “foster co-operation in the labour and human resources sector,” the embassy said.

The agreement was signed by Tahir Hussain Andrabi, acting permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations and Nasser Al Hamli, the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation on the sidelines of the International Labour Conference in Geneva.

The embassy described the memorandum as an important step in streamlining the employment contracts of Pakistani workers and protecting their rights.

Pakistani officials believe it will help create a mechanism to speedily resolve disputes with employers and provide legal assistance.

The UAE and Pakistani government will also undertake projects to educate and spread awareness among workers before they leave their home country and on arrival in the UAE to implement the employment contract.

The agreement also deals with dispute resolution between the employee and employer. If a settlement is not reached within six weeks of a complaint filed, the case will be referred to judicial authorities.

A joint committee with officials from both counties will be set up to monitor and assess the implementation of the agreement.

It is estimated that more than 1.2 million Pakistani's reside in the UAE, with roughly 200,000 nationals arriving in the country annually to take up employment.