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Private Employment Agencies Can Only Be Run By Emiratis

UAE : 17 January 2011

The Ministry of Labour has put mechanisms in place to decrease the malpractice cases occurring within recruitment agencies.

A new law from the Ministry of Labour states that private labour agencies can only be organized by nationals from the UAE.

Stipulations within the decree state that all partners and signing authorities within the agency are required to be Emiratis in order to obtain a license.

Labour minister Saqr Gobash puts the activities of labour agencies into two classifications. The first is mediation that runs between employer and employee, while the second is the recruitment of temporary employees for prospective clients (employers).

Those private agencies that are currently licensed have a period of six months to comply with the new laws.

Within the new laws there are mechanisms in place to cut back on malpractice cases within the recruitment industry. A groundwork of commitments and guarantees from agencies has also been laid that includes being transparent throughout the employment process starting from the recruitment phase within the employee’s native country and moving through to the business operations within the employer’s established nation.

Employees must now have the opportunity to go through a UAE accredited contract of employment when the work begins. The minister added that these new regulations handle the processes of creating a contract from the point when the employee is still in their native country to the point where they have begun working in UAE.

Within the new regulations is a law that prohibits an agency from bringing in workers while involving another labour agency or any individuals within the UAE or overseas. An exception is made if both agencies are licensed in accordance with the new laws in the UAE. In the decision it was clarified that agency workers could not serve in more than one agency.

The labour agencies are also now responsible for helping employees return to their native countries at the firm’s expense. And the agencies are responsible for any damage that is a result of the firm’s activities. Gobash noted that these new regulations aim to make recruiting agencies more reliable and accountable through partnerships within the job market.

The minister noted that these changes should increase the market’s dependence on properly licensed private labour agencies that are willing to recruit workers from their native countries and organize their move to the new country.

New regulations included within the set are:

- A Dh 1 million bank security cheque from the agency is necessary to begin recruiting temporary staff and a Dh 300,000 cheque is needed for brokers to be active.

- No labour agency partners are allowed to have a criminal record that entails crimes of honour, trafficking of humans, integrity or other crimes that are included within the work relations organizing laws.

- If a license is required there must be a written commitment stating that there will be no partners subject to change unless further written, official approval is given from the ministry.

- There needs to be a full team of agents experienced within this field.

- In accordance with the system of wage protection, the owners of the agency must not have a record of frequently holding back staff payments.

- None of the associates or the owner should have run a bogus company nor been in violation of any labour housing laws.

- UAE laws and regulations regarding housing rent payments must be applied by agency owners. Also a security fee of Dh 2,000 must be paid for every recruited employee as well as any violation fees that are referenced in the No 27 Cabinet decree back in 2010, which deals with the ministry’s services.

- Agencies also need to guarantee that in total, the minimum number of employees employed by them must be 20 at any given time and for a period of time stated by the ministry.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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