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UAE LABOUR & IMMIGRATION HELP

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New UAE Labour Law: 7 points your employment contract must include

Should you insist on retaining original job offer with you?

Since January 1, 2016, the UAE has implemented sweeping reforms to the old Labour Law, plugging loopholes that now make employees even more content and secure in their workplace.

Primary changes in the new regulations pertain to employment contracts for workers hired from abroad, termination of job contracts, and issuance of new labour permits to resident workers.

According to new regulations, any offer letter made to a foreign worker is legally binding once accepted and signed by both parties.

This means that the employment contract should be based on the offer letter signed by both parties. The contract, however, must include a set of information.

The resolution issued by the Minister of Labour mandates that employers will be required to disclose to the Ministry the terms of the offer made to a foreign worker.

As per law, the following seven points need to be specified in all employment contracts.

These include:

1) Wages/remuneration payable.

2) Date of the employment contract.

3) Date of commencement of the employment contract.

4) Nature of the contract (limited or unlimited).

5) Nature of the work.

6) Duration of the contract (for fixed term contracts).

7) The location of employment.

According to the ministry, it has begun implementing new procedures for issuance of work permits where employers are obliged to provide the job offer and annexes containing a comprehensive description of rights and duties between both parties.

The documents must be signed (or bear the thumbprint, depending on job classification) after which a copy of the job offer should be presented to obtain an authorisation to enter the country followed by the issuance of a work permit and signing of the contract.

The ministry praised the reaction of many companies to the newly launched decrees that have been applied since January.

“Many of the establishments that have applied for new work permits under the new decisions proved their commitment to establishing a transparent working relationship with workers who were brought from abroad, therefore, they proved their sincere commitment to protecting workers through innovating new methods that will monitor the workers’ signature/thumbprint and follow up on all processes,” says Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the ministry.

“Since the implementation of the new decisions, the ministry cooperated with a number of enterprises that have applied for new work permits in order to determine the procedures followed to brief workers on job offers. Officials in some of these facilities said they dispatched HR employees to a labour-sending country to closely brief the workers on job offers and then signed it followed by a photograph for documentation purposes.”

Who keeps the original job offer contract – you or your employer?

Are you worried about your original job offer not being with you?

If this important document is with the company you are employed with, it is well within the legal rights of your boss and you have nothing to worry about.

The Ministry of Labour has called upon employers to keep the original job offer contracts, signed by both parties, in case of legal disputes.

The ministry’s undersecretary has said that workers may contact the ministry in case they find a false signature on the job offer before signing the employment contract.

In such cases, employers are required to bring the original job offer that will then be referred to the court for further inspection, he said.

courtesy : http://www.emirates247.com/

Revealed: Number of fixed-term and non-fixed term jobs approved in UAE

Ministry of Labour issued over 233,000 labour contracts in January, 75% are non-fixed term

The Ministry of Labour has reviewed over 250,000 job offers presented by private sector firms since the beginning of this year, and has issued 233,000 labour contracts, of which 75 percent are of non-fixed term.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, said, “The number of job offers printed during the last month confirms the clarity and ease of a working relationship between employers and workers in accordance with the newly launched Decrees, which aims to establish and promote a balanced and productive working relationship between both ends, based on cooperation and transparency, in order to preserve rights.”

He said: “Workers must look into job offers and annexes in their preferred languages before signing the contracts to reach a healthy work relationship between both parties; annexes must be reviewed as they hold a number of labour laws and amendments.”

Al Suwaidi said the ministry has ratified a total of 233,190 new and renewed labour contracts during January, of them 75 percent were non-fixed term, equal to over 175,790, and fixed-term contracts reached 57,400.

“The rise in non-fixed term contract numbers indicates that employers have identified their choice of that type of relationship in accordance with the new Decrees, something contrary to that which prevailed in the labour market previously, as fixed-term contracts are considered the most commonly used by employers back then,” he said.

Bin Deemas believes that the picking fixed-term contracts applies mostly to labourers as it may seem that the nature of their occupations requires that type of contract, which carries both parties agreement to abide by legal responsibilities between each other, especially in the event of a party deciding to violate the terms of the contract or wish to end it without the consent of the other party.

Al Suwaidi said, “Conditions that must be followed in the event that one of the parties decided to end a fixed-term contract during the renewal period, starts by notifying the other party before the date of termination (in a specified period agreed by both ends) not less than one month and not exceeding three months, where those who decided to terminate the contract must complete the notice period then pay agreed dues not exceeding the total remuneration of three months’ salary, and this applies for both sides.”

Ministry tells employers to keep original job contracts

The Ministry of Labour called on employers to keep the original job offer contracts, signed by both parties, in case of legal disputes where the worker may deny the signature or thumbprint on the document.

The ministry has begun implementing new procedures for issuance of work permits where employers are obliged to provide the job offer and annexes containing a comprehensive description of rights and duties between both parties. The documents must be signed (or bear the thumbprint, depending on job classification) after which a copy of the job offer should be presented to obtain an authorization to enter the country followed by the issuance of a work permit and signing of the contract.

The ministry praised the reaction of many companies to the newly launched decrees that have been applied since January, as per the directives of Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour.

Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, assistant undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the ministry, said; “Many of the establishments that have applied for new work permits under the new decisions proved their commitment to establishing a transparent working relationship with workers who were brought from abroad, therefore, they proved their sincere commitment to protecting workers through innovating new methods that will monitor the workers’ signature/thumbprint and follow up on all processes.”

“Since the implementation of the new decisions, the ministry cooperated with a number of enterprises that have applied for new work permits in order to determine the procedures followed to brief workers on job offers. Officials in some of these facilities said they dispatched HR employees to a labour-sending country to closely brief the workers on job offers and then signed it followed by a photograph for documentation purposes.”

He said: “Others contacted the employment agency in one of the Asian countries that had briefed workers on job offers, watch them sign it upon acceptance and then forwarded the letters to the concerned party to issue a work permit.”

Some employers have gone beyond the normal requirements and documented the employees’ signatures on the contracts by photographing them while they are signing.

Bin Deemas called on workers to contact the ministry in case they find a false signature on the job offer right before signing the labour contract. In such cases, employers are required to bring the original job offer that will then be referred to the court for further inspection.

Employers must keep a close eye on signed job offers and make sure that it has been signed by the worker as the responsibility is the employer’s. However, labour courts are the competent authority to deal with such issues.

The procedures apply to workers residing in the UAE and seek to move from one establishment to another, either by signing the proposed job offer or placing their thumbprint depending on their skill level, all before approaching the ministry to request a work permit.

courtesy : http://www.emirates247.com/

You can quit job without notice if employer fails to meet obligations

The employee must immediately report non-payment of salary to the Ministry of Labour and file a complaint against the employer.

My friend is working as an accountant since one year at an entity based in the UAE. However, she has not received her salary for two months, owing to the fact that the employer has taken in its possession ATM Cards of all its employees. The employer deposits salary in the accounts of each employee in accordance with the Wage Protection Scheme regulations, but subsequently, the employer withdraws the money using the employees’ ATM cards.

Under these circumstances, can she shift to a job without getting a labour ban?

It is presumed that your friend’s employment is subject to provisions of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the “Labour Law”).

Pursuant to the first part of your question, it may be noted that your friend shall be within her rights to terminate her current employment, as her employer has failed to fulfil its obligations towards her as its employee, as your friend has not received her salary for the last two months. However, your friend must immediately report non-payment of salary to the Ministry of Labour and file a complaint against her employer.

Therefore, if your friend should decide to terminate her employment, she may not face the imposition of an employment ban, as the reason for termination of employment contract may be attributable to the employer. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 121, which states: “A worker may leave his work without notice in either of the following case:

(a) If the employer fail to comply with his obligation towards him, as provided for in the contract or in this Law;

(b) If he is assaulted by the employer or the employer’s legal representative.”

Pursuant to the last part of your question, it may be noted that the acts perpetuated by your friend’s employer may actually amount to unauthorised use of ATM cards, which is a punishable offence in the UAE. Owing to this, your friend along with other employees of the same entity may also consider to approach the police and file a complaint against her employer. However, in any case, it is advisable for your friend to simultaneously file a complaint against her employer at the Ministry of Labour as well.

Courtesy: khaleejtimes.com

 

Minimum Wages

The Ministry of Labour on Saturday announced a minimum wage limit for different categories of workers, depending on their qualifications.According to new labour laws, employees under skilled class level 1 (those with a Bachelor’s degree) should earn a minimum Dh12,000 a month.Diploma holders, who come under skilled class level II, should earn not less than Dh7,000 and workers who have passed high school should be paid a minimum salary of Dh5,000.
The ministry urged strict implementation of Wage Protection System (WPS) and called on companies to adhere to the salary structure according to the amended classification.With a focus on emiratisation, the ministry has amended a few labour laws that stipulate establishments hire employees under three categories.
According to the new amendment, nationals should not be less than 15 per cent of the total staff of any company.
Similarly, the skilled class (inclusive of three levels) should not be less than 20 per cent of the total employee strength of any company.The ministry has also classified establishments according to the type of employees they hire.
Depending on the percentage of diversity among staff, companies now fall under three categories (first and second and third), and category II includes three levels (a, b and c).
A facility will fall under level (a) if the diversity among employees is at least 25 per cent; under level (b) if diversity among workers is between 25-50 per cent; and under level (c) if the diversity is 50 per cent or more.
A company can be upgraded to second level irrespective of the diversity provided the skilled class is not less than 20 per cent of total workforce. Similarly, companies can be downgraded if they violate labour laws, clarified Labour Ministry.
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