UAE rules on hiring full-time maids: Minimum salary to sponsor them, leaves, restrictions

Several laws protect the rights of those working as domestic help in the country

By Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 19 Dec 2021, 11:30 AM

Last updated: Sun 19 Dec 2021, 5:46 PM

Question: I understand there are several rules around employing full-time maids in the UAE, including those to ensure their rights. Can you please explain them to me so that I don’t end up doing anything illegal? Thanks.

Answer: You have correctly asserted that there are several rules surrounding the employment of full-time maids in the UAE, including laws protecting their rights. While restating all such rules may be beyond the scope of this legal view column, a summary of the most relevant ones is provided here for your benefit and reference.

1. Governing law: The Federal Law No 10 of 2017 On Domestic Workers (the DWL) is the chief legislation governing the employment of domestic workers in the UAE.

2. Offer letter: Where a domestic worker is to be recruited from outside the UAE, it shall be the job of the concerned (licensed) recruitment agency to present a copy of the job offer (i.e., offer letter with all major terms of employment in the prescribed format accredited by the MoHRE) to the domestic worker before her/ his departure from her/ his country of origin).

3.Rights: Pursuant to the DWL, a domestic worker is entitled to the following rights at the employer’s expense/obligation:

a)Wage payment within 10 (ten) days of the due date

b) A weekly paid day off

c) 12 hours of rest per day, including 8 hours consecutive rest

d) Fully paid annual leave of 30 (thirty) every year

e) Medical insurance

f) 30 days’ paid leave on medical grounds per year

g) Round trip air-tickets to the worker’s home every 2 years

h) Decent accommodation

i) Decent meals

j) Attire suitable for the job

k) The worker must always be in possession of his personal identification papers like passports, IDs etc.


4. Sponsoring domestic workers – Qualifications: By the Executive Regulation of Federal Law No 10 of 2017 on Domestic Workers, an expatriate resident may not hire a domestic helper under his/her sponsorship on a permanent basis, except in the following cases:

a) Where the resident individually/ with his/her family has an aggregate monthly income of Dh25,000/- from known legal sources

b) Where the resident is specifically permitted to sponsor domestic helpers, by UAE Cabinet decisions

c) Where the worker is sought for a patient with accredited medical coverage, provided that such patient’s family members have an aggregate monthly income of Dh15,000/-

d) Holders of senior designations such as consultants of different specialities, judges and legal counsellors

e) Any other cases defined by the competent ministry.

5. Prohibitions: It is further noteworthy that the following things are prohibited by the DWL:

a) the employment of anyone under the age of 18,

b) discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, religion and political opinion,

c) sexual harassment, whether verbal or physical,

d) forced labour or trafficking in accordance with national law and ratified international conventions,

e) exposure to physical harm, and

f) assignment of tasks that are not covered under the contract.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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