Private school teachers without labour cards can lodge complaints

The failure of private schools to issue labour cards and sign labour contracts with their teachers

By Sanaa Maadad

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 4 Jul 2004, 11:45 AM

Last updated: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 2:30 PM

Who are sponsored by their husbands or fathers does not deprive those teachers from their right to file complaints with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MLSA) if they have disputes with their employers, a source at the Ministry told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

Noting that the Ministry was aware of the violations of the labour regulations committed by many private schools in the country, the source said the Ministry plans to intensify its inspection of private educational institutions by new academic year 2004/2005.

"A number of private schools appoint women teachers whose visas are on their spouses or fathers but fail to legalise their employment status by issuing them labour cards as per the requirements of the law. Many such teachers do not even have labour contracts with their schools specifying their rights and duties, which give schools the upper hand when it comes to granting them their dues and rights," the source said.

However, he stressed that the absence of a legal employment status does not strip this category of teachers of their right to complain against their schools in the event of labour disputes.

"In such a case, we only ask the teacher to prove that she is or has been working with the school in question, by bringing another colleague in the same school as a witness or furnishing a pay slip," the source said, calling on the private schools to take advantage of the summer holidays to legalise the status of their teaching and administrative women staff by either issuing them labour cards or bringing them under the sponsorship of their employers.

He emphasised that the special privilege given by the government to the women on their husbands' or fathers' sponsorship, allowing them to seek employment although they stay in the country on residency visas, should not be taken advantage of.

"The rule is very clear, the law allowed those women to work only after they obtain work permits from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs," the source said, attributing schools' negligence of this rule to the fact that the labour cards for this category of women workers are issued and renewed on yearly basis which poses a big financial burden on schools.

"We understand the financial constraints of schools and their way of thinking. Issuing one labour card for a woman on her relative's sponsorship turns out to be more expensive than bringing the teacher under the school's sponsorship and paying the same amount for a three-year permit rather than paying over Dh 1,000 on yearly basis," he said.

More news from UAE