Indian embassy cautions job-seekers over papers

ABU DHABI — The Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi has cautioned Indian job-seekers who wish to work in the UAE to get their labour contract papers endorsed by the embassy in order to protect their labour rights in the event of any disputes with their employers.

By Anwar Ahmad

Published: Sun 1 Jul 2007, 8:53 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:56 AM

Speaking to the Khaleej Times on the labour issues, Indian Ambassador to the UAE C.M. Bhandari said, “Do not sign on blank papers and be sure what you are going for. This is very important for those who come through recruiting agents. They must cross-check their status with the embassy and the authenticity of the documents.”

On the embassy’s role in sorting out labour disputes, Bhandari said, “On a regular basis we take up their issues and provide all required inputs to them. Around 70 per cent of Indians are residing in the Northern Emirates where our consulate does its best to solve their problems as is obvious currently during the amnesty period.”

The UAE Government is pro-active in labour disputes and ensures that labourers get all amenities and facilities they are entitled to. The current amnesty is a significant opportunity for illegal labourers to either regularise their status or go back to India, the envoy pointed out.

Commenting on the memorandum of understanding (MoU), which was signed between India and the UAE in December 2006 to deal with labour affairs, Bhandari said, “Both governments are moving together for the welfare of labourers. And this was the first MoU that UAE signed with any foreign country. We have set up a joint committee which met for the first time on May 10. We also have a mechanism between the embassy and the UAE Ministry of Labour for taking up the pending issues of labourers. We have a task force that meets once in six months.”

Answering a question regarding the fixed wages for labourers and all categories of domestic help, he said, “Dh800 is the minimum wage we should look for along with accommodation, transportation and food.”

“If any housemaid is coming from India she must have a minimum wage of Dh600 or more. The Indian government is doing its best to check the employer-agent nexus. We have already banned women under 30 years of age to work as housemaids,” the ambassador said.

“We are very concerned about domestic help, be they housemaids, drivers, security guards or farm labourers. They are directly employed by the household, not by any company. The Interior Ministry also has taken note of it. This issue is being dealt with separately,” he added .

“To listen to grievances of Indian workers in the UAE, we also hold a monthly open house in the embassy and at community centres to sort their problems,” he said.

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