Ministry to refuse work permits without signed unified contracts starting 2016
Dubai: Residents cannot renew their work permits nor will they be issued new permits if an employer fails to provide a signed unified contract starting 2016, the Ministry of Labour revealed on Tuesday.
The unified labour contract, to be implemented from January 1, standardizes employment terms, making them more transparent. The contract is expected to improve regulation and transparency of the UAE labour market.
The contract was drafted by the Ministry as part of the three new decrees, which are aimed at enhancing the UAE labour market conditions and consolidating the contractual nature of labour relations.
All employees across the country will be presented with a unified, standard, employment offer that contains clear and enforceable terms and conditions of employment, prior to the worker’s entry into the UAE.
The contract will need to be signed by both the employer and the worker.
Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, said, “The new measures implement three new decrees issued by Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour, recently with regards to regulating the labour market, starting by unifying a contracts model approved by the ministry for all labour relations.”
During a meeting held in Abu Dhabi, attended by 300 employers and government relations representatives, Bin Deemas reviewed the new measures the ministry is implementing to ease the process of extracting work permits for employees coming from outside or those residing in the country, while maintaining rights of both sides.
Bin Deemas pointed out that the new procedures of recruiting foreign workers from outside the country on a two-year work visa goes through three stages.
Firstly, the employer applies for quota regardless of the number of workers recruited, the second demands printing the offer letter handed to the worker containing a comprehensive description of their rights and duties, terms and conditions, through “Tas’heel” service centres or through the ‘MoLApp’ smartphone application.
“Furthermore, within the second phase, employers should electronically sign a job offer, send it to the worker regardless of their location — whether electronically to the worker himself or through an employment agency. If he accepts the terms and conditions, he then signs it (those who fall in the first, second and third occupational levels) or [put a] fingerprint (for workers in lower work levels),” Bin Deemas said.
The offer letter will be in both Arabic and English in addition to a third language that the worker understands, which can be available on the ministry’s website ‘www.mol.gov.ae’ containing comprehensive details of terms, regulations and labour laws. Bin Deemas said that “each worker can review their work contract through the ministry’s website after registering on the site using the passport number, nationality and transaction number as each has its own code.
During the final stage (the work permit extraction), employers attach the signed offers by the worker for initial approval, where the ministry works on reviewing the application to make sure it meets all the requirements and then issues the permit, which allows the worker to come to the country.
“Employers face a 14-day deadline to complete signature procedures following the worker’s entry into the UAE, if the worker complains of any delays then the ministry will allow him to seek a new offer,” he said.
“The electronic system of the ministry will not allow new job offers for workers following the initial approval stages, and replacing work permits will be treated according to specific procedures…,” he said.
Under the new measures, Bin Deemas pointed out that “it’s not mandatory to include a medical report with job offers, especially as today we are electronically linked with the public administrations of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, which does not issue workers with a residence visa with medical report.”
Referring to the contracts renewal process, Bin Deemas said that the worker’s signature is also a prerequisite for the ministry, as it grants workers a free will whether to renew the contract after accepting highlighted privileges and requirements or simply chose to end the relationship and find a better offer or move back home, something that establishes a healthy working relationship ending misunderstanding between both parties.
Courtsey : Gulf News