Absconding domestic workers are under the purview of the Ministry of Interior and not the Ministry of Labour, according to Humaid bin Dimas, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, Ministry of Labour.
He said the problem is the person who harbours and recruits them, as well as helps them to escape. Some recruitment firms are involved in helping housemaids and as well labourers,” he said.
Bin Dimas said the only way to counter the problem is to increase the fines and tighten existing sanctions.
This was in response to complaints from listeners of live radio programme ‘Al Bath al Mubasher with broadcaster Ayoub Yousef on Noor Dubai Radio, regarding the flight of servants and workers, Al Khaleej reported.
Bin Dimas said there is a fine of Dh50,000 against those who harbored or recruited absconding housemaids or workers.
Bin Dimas expected implementation of the Employment Act to contribute to the control of absconding servants.
“The number of reports of absconding workers has decreased from 60,000 in 2006 to 50,000 in 2007 and 34,000 in 2008 dropped to 34,000. But because of the crisis, it increased in 2009 to 38,000 but again fell to 27,000 last year,” Bin Dimas revealed.
Bin Dimas said in case a worker left his employer for more than 7 days, the employer has the right make report the worker as absconding.
He added, however, that the law prohibits report against a worker while he or she he was on leave, especially when outside the country.
He added that in such cases the worker left the country on vacation and delayed return is not an escape but a break.