UAE: Hiring a domestic worker? Here are 3 packages you can opt for

Authorities recently issued a decree allowing private recruitment agencies to offer domestic workers on hire after obtaining a licence


Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Fri 15 Apr 2022, 1:03 PM

Last updated: Fri 16 Dec 2022, 1:54 PM

[Editor's Note: The UAE's new domestic workers law came into force on Thursday, December 15. This explainer was first published in April, when details of the law were announced.]

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has said that families can opt for three packages when hiring domestic workers through licensed private agencies.

Urging families to strictly deal with licensed private agencies for all recruitment services of domestic helpers, the ministry said it has set fixed recruitment prices in line with the costs from the countries sending this category of workers.

The private recruitment offices are under strict supervision to ensure adherence to the set prices within the variety of packages offered to fit different needs of families, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry has been making efforts to diversify the nationalities of domestic workers through signing memoranda of cooperation with the labour sending countries in a bid to control the recruitment process and ensure contractual rights.

Currently, the nationalities of the domestic workers in the UAE include Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal and India.

While domestic workers were previously hired only through the government-run Tadbeer services, the ministry recently issued a decree allowing private recruitment agencies to offer domestic workers on hire after obtaining a license.

This streamlined recruitment process, the ministry said, preserves the rights of employers and workers and ensures a healthy contractual relationship.

The three recruitment packages of domestic workers on offer for families through licensed agencies are:

1. The traditional package

Workers are hired under the sponsorship of the employing family with a live-in contract, to be renewed every two years. This package allows the employer to replace the worker or claim the costs of recruitment within the first six months of probation if:

  • The worker terminates the contract without a legitimate reason
  • The worker leaves without an acceptable reason
  • The worker is medically unfit
  • The worker is unable to carry out tasks as required

The family can recover part of the recruitment costs after the probation period, depending on the remaining months of the two-year contract, if:

  • The worker terminates the contract after probation without a legitimate reason
  • The worker leaves without an acceptable reason

2. The temporary package

The recruitment office provides a trained and qualified domestic helper within 24 hours of the request. Under this scheme, the worker remains under the office’s sponsorship with a renewable two-year contract, during which the worker will not be allowed to move in with the employing family.

3. The flexible package

Under the office’s sponsorship, the domestic helper is offered depending on the requested service (hourly - daily - weekly - monthly). Under this on-demand flexible system, the cost of recruitment will be calculated depending on the services offered.

The package has a set of benefits, including providing qualified and trained domestic workers, opting for unlimited replacement requests, and hiring the worker 24 hours in advance.


How to register a complaint against an absconding domestic worker

The ministry offers services to cancel or renew residency permits of domestic workers and register a complaint about an absconding helper through the Ministry’s smart application in the Google Play and Apple Stores, on the website as well as the call center on the toll-free number 80060.

The smart application allows the employer to use the services without the need to enter the password and username. Users must follow the following steps:

>> enter the Emirates ID number and date of birth

>> enter the verification code in the image that appears in the application

>> an SMS will be sent with an OTP verification code to the mobile phone number registered with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

>> enter the verification code and choose the worker required to perform the service

>> enter the required data and pay the fees

>> the request will be sent to the authority for processing and an email will be sent to the employer with the payment receipt and a copy of the notarized contract (in the case of residency renewal request for the domestic worker).

Did you know?

You can pay the wage of your domestic helper via the online Wage Protection System, which allows payment through bank transfers, exchange offices, and financial institutions authorized by the UAE Central Bank that provide the service. The system preserves the rights of employees, while providing employers a channel to prove timely wage payment to the worker.

Who is considered a domestic helper?

Under the law, domestic labour categories in the UAE include sailors, housekeepers, cooks, guards, private drivers, shepherds, groomers, falconers, farmers, gardeners, private trainers, private teachers, private nurses, special representatives and private agricultural engineers.

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