New Policy for Hiring Domestic Workers in UAE

If you’re planning to hire a housekeeper, nanny, or private driver anytime soon, make sure that you meet the requirements, especially now that the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced a new set of standards for hiring domestic workers.

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On Wednesday, 15th January 2020, MoHRE announced the adoption of new standards in relation to the hiring of support service workers. This latest move is part of the implementation of the Law on Support Service Workers issued by the UAE Cabinet.

New Policy for Hiring Domestic Workers in UAE
Image Credit: WAM News Agency

UAE Adopts New Policy for Hiring Support Service Workers

In the UAE, support service workers include housekeepers, nannies, cooks, private gardeners, private drivers, private nurses, private trainers, guards, and other similar occupations.

Recently, MoHRE adopted new standards for hiring domestic workers, WAM News Agency reported. These standards are based on studies on the salaries and cost of living of families and individuals seeking to hire domestic workers, as well their capability to provide a decent working environment, adequate healthcare, and other legal obligations to such workers.

According to the MoHRE Undersecretary for Assistant Labour Affairs, Khalil Khoury, the new standards indicate that the family or individual must have a minimum monthly salary of AED 25,000. This amount includes the salaries and allowances (e.g. housing allowance) of all employed family members in the household.

Meanwhile, for households with health patients that requires a support service worker to take care of them, the new standards require a minimum monthly salary of AED 15,000 earned by the family members or individual.

In case a family does not meet the criteria, Khoury mentioned that Tadbeer Service Centres offer two alternative packages at a lower cost:

    1. A worker registered with the centre will be provided for a contractual period, although he/she would not be allowed to live in the employer’s house.
    2. A worker registered with the centre will be provided to work on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis.

New Policy for Hiring Domestic Workers in UAE

Contract Termination, Reimbursement of Recruitment Costs

The new policy states that workers’ contracts may be extended for two years. Recruitment agencies that hire support service workers are also reminded to follow the law. Otherwise, if they do not meet the standards, they must refund the full or partial cost of recruitment to the employer, depending on the remaining period of the labour contract.

When the worker is still under a “trial” or probationary period (i.e. six months), there are four situations where an employer may request for the reimbursement of recruitment costs:

    • If a worker terminates the contract without a legitimate reason;
    • If a worker leaves work without an acceptable reason;
    • If a worker is lacking in health and fitness; or
    • If a worker is unable to perform the job required and agreed upon.

Meanwhile, between the post-probationary period and the end of a two-year contract, the employer may request for partial reimbursement in case of two situations:

    • If a worker terminates the contract after the trial period without a legitimate reason; or
    • If a worker leaves work after the trial period without an acceptable reason.

In such situations, the amount to be reimbursed would be calculated based on the remaining period of the labour contract.

Nonetheless, MoHRE clarified that if the employer is the one who requested a particular worker by name, and the recruitment agency was only carrying out his/her request — the said agency would be exempted from refunding any recruitment costs.

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Let us keep in mind that these new standards have been set with both the employer’s and employee’s welfare in mind. In this manner, working agreements are bound to go smoothly and everyone would be satisfied. On the other hand, if you are a domestic worker seeking to file a complaint, please read how to file a complaint online for domestic workers in the UAE.