From January 2016 a new set of labour laws will be enforced in the country that are expected to offer a more secure work environment to all employees.
There will be no more harassment and manipulation of terms by employers of blue-collar workers, according to the Ministry of Labour.
Issued by Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour, in September, the new laws pertain to employment contracts, ending job contracts and granting workers new labour permits so they can shift to a different company after the lapse of a contract with his/her previous company.
Offer letters will now gain status as a legal employment contract. Employers won’t be able to get away with empty promises to prospective employees in terms of pay, their job role, designation, hours of work, and other terms of employment. Everything will have to be clearly stated in the offer letter, and the terms will be legally binding.
As per the decision issued by the minister, employers will now have to provide foreign labourers with a letter of offer, which will contain a detailed description about the job, including rights and duties of each party – the employer and prospective employee – and the work conditions.
The employee will then review the offer letter, which is given to him/her in a language he/she can understand, and agree or disagree to its terms.
The decision stipulates that the employer must now attach offer letters along with the labour permit application so as to get it signed by both the employer and employee when the latter arrives in the country, and then be formally registered by the ministry.
As a result, the letter of offer, which will be regarded as a labour contract letter, cannot be replaced or modified unless both parties approve. The modification does not affect the workers’ rights and will have to be approved by the ministry.
Happy with the new labour reforms, chairman of the Emirates Human Rights Association (EHRA) Mohammed Salem bin Dwaian Al Kaabi, has welcomed the new ministerial orders saying they preserve workers’ rights.
Al Kaabi issued a statement saying “the new decisions by the Ministry of Labour had been one of the demands of the EHRA, when we called for protecting labourers by releasing a bunch of laws and binding labour contracts”.
He said the decisions taken by the Ministry of Labour will have a positive impact on labourers in the country. A common complaint by several workers has been the seizing of ATM cards by companies. The new ministerial orders aim to eliminate those issues… see more