The UAE’s Ministry of Labour recently approved 11 languages to be presented to workers within their job offers, labour contracts and annexes, following the newly launched labour decrees that were implemented at the beginning of the year on the directives of Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash.
Humaid bin Deemas, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, said, "Arabic and English are two main languages in each job offer, labour contract and annexes presented to the worker, in addition to a third language that the applicant can understand. This applies both to workers coming from outside and those residing in the UAE that seek a new job or are required to move from one company to another."
He explained, "The other approved nine languages are Bengali, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Malayalam, Nepalese, Sri Lankan, Tamil and Urdu, languages which have been picked according to statistics highlighting the highest number of workers using them."
"Adding these new languages confirms the ministry's keenness to promote transparency between all parties on the terms and conditions of employment and their rights and obligations, before coming to the country to resume their duties."
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Labour began the application of new measures to extract work permits under which the employer is committed to enclose job offers signed by the worker for those classified in the first, second and third levels, while thumbprints are required for those in fourth and fifth levels.
"Workers must look into job offers and annexes in their preferred languages before signing the contracts to reach a healthy work relationship between both sides. Annexes must be reviewed as they hold a number of labour laws and amendments," bin Deemas said.
He added, "If proven that workers did not go through the annexes before signing the labour contract, the ministry will take the measures set forth in the Council of Ministers Decision No. 40 of 2014 against the employer, who shall face a Dh20,000 fine for submitting incorrect data to the ministry."
"If the worker recognises the nature of his work after reviewing his job offer as well as the terms and conditions printed within the annexes before the official hiring, this contributes to reducing labour disputes, especially since previous cases show that after joining their jobs, workers claim a lack of commitment to working conditions that were agreed upon verbally between both ends, therefore, the ministry launched new contracting procedures," he added.
Both labour contracts and annexes are available on the ministry's website and workers can access these documents after filling in nationality, passport number and transaction type fields on-line.