Draft bill for weekly offs and tickets for maids

Recruiters will also be banned from accepting any commission for offering jobs

Federal National Council on Tuesday endorsed a draft bill to help protect the rights of domestic helpers; enhance their relationship with employers as well as regulate functions of recruitment offices.

Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, attended the session that was chaired by Speaker Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr.

Sheikh Saif said once the bill is passed into a law, it will hold each party involved responsible for their acts.

According to a report in Al Bayan, the new bill suggests employers gurantee workers a return flight ticket to their home country every two years. Employees be given one weekly off. And if they work during their day-offs, employees be compensated duly or their lieu settled with end-of service gratuity.

The new bill also suggests that domestic workers be given a probationary period when employers can test their potential.

Similarly, the onus is on recruiters to explain the nature of duty to domestic helpers for which their are hired.

Recruiters will also be banned from accepting any commission for offering jobs.

The draft bill recommends that those hiring absconding workers be jailed for a maximum six months and fined between Dh10,000 and Dh100,000. They could also be deported if convicted.

Similarly recruiters operating without licence be fined between Dh50,000 and Dh100,000.

Violating any other specifications in the new rule will incur a fine of between Dh1,000 and Dh5,000.

The bill was endorsed on Tuesday when the FNC met for its first ordinary session.

Sheikh Saif added that individual harassment cases must not be generalised. And added that the UAE is taking all measures to be fair to all.

Recruitment offices will be given six months from the date of issuance of the new law to revise their functions, reported Al Bayan.

The new bill once implemented will cover domestic helpers such as housekeepers, cooks, private tutors, farmers, gardners, nannies, falconers, sheperds,  private trainers, drivers, home nurses, maids, etc.


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