12.44 AM Monday, 11 December 2023
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 05:31 06:49 12:14 15:11 17:33 18:52
11 December 2023

Only nationals can run private labour agencies

Workers must be given the opportunity to read the original employment contract, said Minister of Labour (FILE)

By Mohammed Al Sadafy

Only UAE nationals have the right to set up private employment agencies, according to a new ordinance by the Labour Ministry.

The ordinance also stipulated that every partner and signatory in an employment agency should be Emirati to be eligible for applying for a licence.

Saqr Gobash, Minister of Labour classified the activity of employment agencies into two categories, either the activity of "mediation" between the employer and the employee or the "temporary employment activity", recruiting work force and supplying them to prospective employers.

Private recruitment agencies, which are already licensed, have six months to rectify their regulations to suit the new regulations.

The ordinance included mechanisms to reduce certain malpractices that may occur as a result of recruitment operations, and stipulated a set of guarantees and commitments from the agencies including transparency during the entire process of employment beginning from the phase of recruiting from the worker's country of origin until the operations of the firm in which he will work.

Workers must be given the opportunity to read the original employment contract which will be accredited in the UAE while he begins the employment, Gobash said and added that the new law regulates the process of contractual work beginning from the labour supplying country until the labour receiving country.

The new decision prohibited any agency from importing workers with another agency or individuals inside the UAE or abroad unless that agency is licensed for this work according to the UAE law. The decision also made it clear that the workers of any agency may not work in other agencies.

The employment agency is also responsible according to this ministerial decision of returning workers to their countries on the agencies expense. The agency will also be responsible for any damage to others inflicted through the agencies activities. "We seek, through cooperation with our partners in the labour market, to deepen the reliance on agencies and recruiters to fill the jobs in firms," Gobash said.

Gobash said this is done to enhance the dependence on licensed private employing agencies to organise the mechanism of recruiting personnel from their original countries to the receiving country.

The set of regulations include:

• The agency has to present a bank security cheque for Dh1 million to peruse its activities in temporary employment, and Dh300,000 for broker activities.

•None of the partners in the employment agency should have a police record of honour crimes, integrity, human trafficking or any other crimes pointed out in the work relations organising law.

•Those requiring a licence in this field must present a written commitment that none of the partners will be subjected to change unless there is an official and written approval from the ministry.

•Necessity of employing a full team in these agencies who have sufficient experience in this field.

•The agency owner or any of his partners should not be among those who have not paid their workers on frequent occasions, according to the wages protection system.

•The owner and his associates must not be among those who have bogus companies or who have violated labour housing rules.

•The agency owners will also be obliged to apply the UAE regulations and laws regarding the payment of the housing rents, and paying a security sum of Dh2,000 for every recruited worker, in addition to the payment of violation fees referred to in the Cabinet decree No. 27 for 2010, regarding the services offered by the ministry.

•The agency also has to guarantee that the overall number of workers employed by it at any time must be no less than 20 workers, for the time duration defined by the ministry.