Key Highlights from the Domestic Labour Law
Regulation of Contracts
1) A copy of the job offer must be presented by the recruitment agency to the employee, prior to the employee's departure from their country of origin.
2) Terms of employment will be governed by a standard contract, adopted by the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation, setting out the terms and conditions of employment.
3) Either employer or domestic employee may terminate the contract if the other party fails to meet their obligations. Either employer or employee may instigate a no fault termination, subject to compensation as outlined in the Domestic Labour Law.
Rights and Privileges of Domestic Employees
1) Wages, as set out in the standard contract, must be paid within ten days from the day they are due.
2) Employees are entitled to one day’s paid rest per week.
3) Employees are entitled to twelve hours of rest per day, including eight hours consecutive rest.
4) Employees are entitled to thirty days paid vacation per year.
5) Employees are entitled to medical insurance provided by the employer.
6) Employees are entitled to up to thirty days medical leave per year.
7) Employees are entitled to a round trip ticket home every two years.
8) Employees are entitled to decent accommodation.
9) Decent meals must be provided to employees at the employer’s expense.
10) Attire, if required by the employer, must be provided at the employer’s expense.
11) Employees are entitled to keep possession of their personal identification papers.
12) A dispute between employer and employee may be referred to the Ministry by either party. The Ministry will attempt to resolve the dispute amicably within a period of two weeks; non-resolution after two weeks will be referred to the courts.
13) Any legal suit by the employee is exempt from court fees and must be dealt with expediently.
The following are legally prohibited under the Domestic Labour Law:
1) The employment of anyone under the age 18 for domestic work.
2) Discrimination against domestic workers on the basis of race, colour, gender, religion, political opinion.
3) The sexual harassment of domestic workers, whether verbal or physical.
4) Forced labour or any other practice that may amount to trafficking of persons, in accordance with national law and ratified international conventions.
5) The exposure of domestic workers to physical harm.
6) The assignment of tasks that are not covered under the contract.
The Regulation of Recruitment Agencies
1) Only UAE-registered natural or legal persons - in good standing - may engage in recruiting domestic workers into to the UAE.
2) An agency may not, on its own or through a third party, solicit or accept from any worker, whether prior to or after employment, any form of commission in exchange for employment.
3) In the event of early termination, the agency must act to repatriate the worker at the agency's expense and either offer the employer an acceptable substitute worker, or return to the employer the agency's fee.
4) The agency must at all times treat the worker decently and refrain from exposing the worker to any form of violence.