Published December 17 2016, Gulf News
Abu Dhabi: Starting from the first quarter of 2017, recruitment and employment applications for domestic workers in the UAE will be handled by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, with the new procedure being rolled out in the emirate of Dubai first before expanding across the UAE in the second quarter of 2017.
The decision was approved by the Council of Ministers, with the procedure having previously been carried out by the Ministry of Interior. According to the law, domestic workers are those that are employed by households, and includes housemaids, cooks, security guards, drivers, gardeners, and shepherds.
Currently, applications for domestic workers have to be processed and approved at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs offices across the UAE.
Under the new announcement by the Human Resources Ministry yesterday, sponsors who wish to apply for a working visa for a domestic worker will have to do so through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and not the Interior Ministry.
Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, in a statement said that the ministry would look to continue to build on the strong work carried out by the Interior Ministry, and that it was important to have employment come under one government umbrella.
“We intend to build on past achievements in taking over the administration of this sector. As in most countries, all sectors of employment now become the responsibility of a single government agency,” he said.
“Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation intends to follow through with policies and strategic plans with a view to applying the same principles and labour governance standards across private sector employment while, at the same time, taking into consideration the particularities of domestic employment,” he added.
Ghobash said that the ministry would look to work with the Interior Ministry, specifically the Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, to gain from their experience in issuing work permits.
Who is a domestic worker?
Housemaids, house cooks, security guards, drivers, gardeners, and any form of work in a household.
What this new mandate means
Currently all recruitment and work visa permits for domestic workers in the UAE is handled by the Ministry of Interior. This task will now be transferred to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
When does it start?
The new procedure will first start in Dubai in the first quarter of 2017, after this period it will start being implemented across the whole of the UAE by the second quarter of 2017.