UAE’s Federal National Council to discuss draft law on domestic workers


The UAE’s Federal National Council (FNC) is expected to discuss a draft federal law on domestic workers during a session on Tuesday, official news agency WAM reported.

The new law calls for better working conditions for domestic workers by providing a regular weekly day off, 30 days of annual paid leave, and a daily rest of atleast 12 hours.

It also grants workers the right to retain their personal documents such as passports and work permits and aims to shield them from physical and verbal abuse and human trafficking.

During the session on Tuesday, FNC members are expected to address three labour-related questions to the minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, the WAM report said.

FNC member Hamad Ahmed Al Rahoumi will ask a question about the rights of foreign workers to travel without their employer’s permission, while Marwan Ahmed bin Ghalaita will seek clarification about the classification and training of skilled workers in certain professions before obtaining their work permits.

Saeed Saleh Al Rumaithi will also ask a question about hiring domestic workers from Bangladesh, the report said.

Earlier this month, it was reported that a five-year ban preventing Bangladeshi citizens from seeking work in the UAE could soon be lifted.

The National newspaper cited Nurul Islam, Bangladesh’s minister of expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment, as predicting the 2012 ban will end “very soon”.

“We have received a very positive response from UAE officials about the reopening of visas and the visa ban is going to be lifted very soon,” he was quoted as saying after a meeting with Saqr Ghobash.

The UAE first introduced the ban following a spike in crime by Bangladeshis. It has prevented the 700,000 Bangladeshi workers in the country from changing jobs, leading to abuse by companies in some cases.

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