Labour ministry to handle recruitment of domestic workers

Labour ministry to handle recruitment of domestic workers
Philippine Ambassador Constancio Vingno

Dubai - Top diplomats from the Philippines and Indonesia welcomed the move



by

Angel Tesorero

Published: Sat 17 Dec 2016, 6:29 PM

Last updated: Sat 17 Dec 2016, 9:23 PM

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) will begin receiving and processing applications for the recruitment and employment of domestic workers in Dubai in the first quarter of 2017. This will mark the first step towards extending its mandate to the rest of the country in the second quarter.

Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said the ministry will strive to administer this sector in line with the 'Government of the Future' vision. "As in most countries, all sectors of employment now become the responsibility of a single government agency."

Top diplomats from the Philippines and Indonesia welcomed the move by the Council of Ministers ordering the MoHRE to handle the recruitment and employment of domestic workers in the country.

Currently, applications for domestic workers, including housemaids, cooks, security guards, drivers, gardeners, and shepherds, are being processed and approved at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs offices across the UAE.

With the new announcement by MoHRE on Friday, sponsors who wish to apply for a working visa for a domestic worker will have to go through the MoHRE and not the Interior Ministry.

"We welcome this development and hope that this would lead to more safety nets and better promotion of the welfare of our household service workers," Philippine consul-general Paul Raymund Cortes told Khaleej Times.

"The UAE Government's new policy reflects their strong commitment to human rights, and ethical business and recruitment in labor migration," he added.

Philippine ambassador to the UAE Constancio Vingno Jr. said: "The pronouncement is a move in the right direction. This is probably an offspring of the consultations held early this year by members of the Philippine Labour delegation with officials form MoHRE."

"Household service workers (HSWs) will now have the same rights and privileges enjoyed by private company employees," Vingno added.

Vingno said Philippine authorities have raised the issue of minimum wage for HSWs set at $400 (Dh1,500) and other concerns such as granting an obligatory one-day off per week for domestic workers and allowing them to keep their own passports.

"The UAE government has addressed our concerns and now what we are waiting is to see the final copy of the law," Vingno said.

Indonesian consul-general Consul General Arzaf Firman also told Khaleej Times: "We welcome the move by MoHRE. Now there will be a better mechanism to address the problems of domestic workers and at the same time this will also professionalise the sector."

"This will benefit all domestic workers from India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and other domestic worker-sending countries," Firman added.
Who will benefit from the new policy?

Housemaids, house cooks, security guards, drivers, gardeners, and other household workers.
angel@khaleejtimes.com

Philippines Consul General Paul Ray Cortes
Philippines Consul General Paul Ray Cortes

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