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Wed 7 Mar 2018 05:39 PM

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UAE sets up public prosecutor for crimes against domestic workers

Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan issues resolution

UAE sets up public prosecutor for crimes against domestic workers
(MIGUEL GUTIERREZ/AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

The UAE has issued a resolution to establish a public prosecutor and judicial department to deal with crimes against domestic workers.

According to state news agency WAM, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department issued the resolution.

Yousef Saeed Al Abri, acting Under-Secretary of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, said that the UAE's leadership is keen in adopting the principles of human rights within an integrated system at the social, educational and institutional levels, in addition to legislations and laws.

Al Abri said that the announcement of the resolution came in response to the requirements of implementing Article No. 03 of the Federal Law issued by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on domestic workers.

The Domestic Labour Law, which passed through the Federal National Council in June, ensures that, for the first time, all workers in the UAE are covered by employment legislation, with responsibility for its implementation being overseen by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the regulatory authority for the UAE’s labour market.

Domestic workers account for around 750,000 individuals in the UAE’s labour force, representing approximately 25 percent of expatriate workers.

The new law establishes the principle of informed consent, ensuring that workers are aware of their contract terms prior to departure from their home country. This is in line with the UAE’s regulations regarding the standardisation of contracts, to ensure that prospective workers are not enticed into a cycle of debt bondage through the promise of employment terms that subsequently prove, on arrival in the UAE, to be different from those offered.

Under the law, the rights and privileges afforded to domestic employees include minimum daily rest hours, paid annual leave, weekly rest days, and access to dispute resolution. These are in line with minimums required under law for employees in other sectors of the UAE labour market.

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