UAE: When can employers ask for refund under new domestic worker law?

The recruitment or temporary employment of maids is allowed only if a relevant licence from Mohre is obtained

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Published: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 10:08 AM

Last updated: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 10:46 AM

A new law regarding the recruitment of domestic workers in the UAE comes into force today. The law defines the roles and relationships between recruiters, employers and domestic workers as well as the rights of all parties.

In the case of recruitment agencies violating terms that have been agreed upon, or if the worker breaches the terms of the two-year contract, the new law states that employers are eligible for a refund, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in the UAE (Mohre).

Here are three cases when an employer can ask for recruitment and government fee refund:

1. If the worker proves to be incompetent or has an 'improper personal attitude' during the probation period.

2. If the domestic worker ends the contract or resigns for an illegal reason.

3. If the employer terminates the contract for non-fulfilment of agreed-upon conditions in the initial agreement, or if the contract ended between the employer and the recruitment agency

Refunds cannot be given if the employer recruits the domestic worker directly, according to Mohre.

How is the refund calculated?

Mohre lays out the exact calculation for refund values.

If any of the three cases above can be proved within the first month of employment, or if the health of the worker prevents them from performing their duties during the probation period, the recruitment agency has to return the entire recruitment fee to the employer.

Otherwise, the following formula is used to calculate the refund:

Refund = Total recruitment cost ÷ Number of months the worker has worked X Remaining period of the work contract


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