The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in UAE has issued a recent advisory with respect to hiring maids and domestic help.
The Government has warned against hiring maids and domestic help from unauthorized and unapproved agencies. The guidelines have been directed toward government officials, corporations, private employers, and even ordinary residents of the country.
The aim of these directions is to ensure that the residents hire these workwomen from authorized and official sources only.
The ministry has issued these guidelines just before the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan. During this month, the demand for domestic workers usually increases and many unknown and informal agencies advertise their services on social media platforms in the capacity of being the prime supplier of maids.
They seek to attract all those who are looking forward to hiring this domestic help. The guidelines issued by the Ministry are meant to caution the residents from relying on fake and unruly advertisements on social media and hiring any services from them.
The maids and the domestic workers should be hired only from authorized agencies
The ministry acknowledged the risk which is faced by the residents on employing maids from unreliable sources on Instagram and Facebook.
Firstly, there isn’t any guarantee of these maids would be working for the contracted period. In addition, they may not be trained and skilled enough to perform the task for which they have been employed.
It may also attract legal consequences not only against the unapproved agency but also against the person who hired services from such an agency.
The domestic workers coming from these unapproved sources may not be sufficiently vaccinated or be infected by some contagious disease. This shall expose the family members to additional health risks.
In order to curtail the operation of these unofficial agencies, UAE enacted a domestic workers law on 15th December 2022. According to this legislation, only licensed agencies are authorized to offer domestic help services. After the enforcement of this legislation in 2020, around 80 agencies have been licensed to offer these services to the residents.
The list of these agencies that are bestowed with such authority can be accessed from the website of the Ministry. Therefore, the residents have to be extremely careful while hiring maids and must confirm if that agency is licensed under the Ministry Or not.
The Ministry has operationalized a toll-free number as well for the residents to confirm the reliability of any agency.
The law grants licenses to both private and public agencies for offering services. The ambit of these services has however been divided into three packages.
The details of the same have been given in the following way:
This is the most basic form of package wherein the contract period is 2 years. The maid resides with the person who hires her for these two years. The contract is drafted with a clause wherein the probation period is 6 months and the employer may replace the maid in case of non-performance.
This is the package that can be availed by the residents who want the maids only for a limited duration of time. The period of the contract is around 2 years but it can be reduced depending on the convenience of the parties. In addition, the maid under this contract does not physically live with the employer and comes to work only for the predefined hours.
This type of contract is very customized and tailor-made. The contract defines the nature of the work and the number of hours or weeks or months for which the domestic help would be hired. The remuneration is calculated on the basis of the nature of the work and its duration.
In its latest move, the ministry has issued a final warning against all domestic workers to comply with the requirements of the act and deposit the required documents for the purposes of verification.
The Ministry has also decided to add some additional categories of workers to the definition of domestic help.
These include personal tutors, trainers, professional agricultural engineers, and cooks. Until now, there had been only 19 permissible categories of workers who could be hired by employers through these agencies.
The ministry has also floated advertisements across news channels and social media platforms in order to educate people about the latest guidelines.
This would actually help to prevent any kind of chaos during the festive season in the country.
An attempt is also being made to hold unauthorized agencies liable under civil law for violating the legislation.
These agencies shall be permanently blacklisted and could now apply for registration within a period of two years from the date of such order.