Galadari Alerts: New Directives in the Domestic Worker Law

Effective from 15 December 2022, Federal Decree Law No. 10 of 2017 on Domestic Workers (“the Old Law”) has been updated and replaced by Federal Law 9 of 2022 Concerning Domestic Workers (“the New Law”). The Old Law, introduced in 2017, defined eighteen (18) occupations which fall under the scope of domestic workers, and set the provisions on domestic works labour contracts in relation to working hours, official leaves, recruitment agencies and the settlement of disputes.
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<span “font-size: 14pt;”><span “color: #221551;”>The New Law is one of the latest steps by the UAE government to strengthen the regulations safeguarding thousands of domestic employees – including housemaids, nannies, drivers, and physical labour works – across the seven Emirates are met. The new directives expand the number of offences punishable by fines and/or imprisonment for breaches of work conditions and rules from four (4) to eight (8). This alert summarizes the penalties for failure to abide by the New Law as follows:

<span “font-size: 14pt;”><span “color: #221551;”>Individuals providing false information or forged documents to employ domestic workers will be issued fines between 20,000 AED and 100,000 AED and face up to six (6) months imprisonment.

<span “font-size: 14pt;”><span “color: #221551;”>Individuals hiring unlicensed workers, recruiting employees but fail to provide a job, or use domestic workers permits for purposes other than those for which they were issued, will face a minimum fine of 50,000 AED and a maximum fine of 200,000 AED. The same penalties apply to recruitment agencies who fail to settle salaries owed to domestic workers.

<span “font-size: 14pt;”><span “color: #221551;”>Employing a minor domestic worker under the age of 18 or assisting a worker to abscond or shelter absconding workers for the purpose of exploitation in illegal activities carry fines up to 200,000 AED.

<span “font-size: 14pt;”><span “color: #221551;”>Attempting to employ a domestic worker without a permit or the misuse of login credentials for the ministry’s online portal carries a fine between 200,000 AED and 1 million AED, and up to one (1) year imprisonment.

<span “color: #221551; font-size: 14pt;”>Penalties related to the employment of unlicensed workers increase based on the number of workers, to a maximum of 10 million AED. These penalties double for repeat offenders.

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<span “color: #221551; font-size: 14pt;”>If you have any queries related to UAE Employment law, please email Naji Khairallah on