New Move to Ensure Legal, Risk-Free Working Environment for Pakistani Workers in UAE

Published June 19th, 2019 - 06:37 GMT
Welcoming the move, a number of Pakistani expats said that it was high time that such a step was taken by the Pakistan government.
Welcoming the move, a number of Pakistani expats said that it was high time that such a step was taken by the Pakistan government. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Pakistani workers in the UAE are entitled to a minimum wage of Dh800 along with accommodation and food and must be covered by medical insurance as per the UAE law.

Pakistanis coming to the UAE for a job will now have to sign an Employment Job Offer with the employer before landing in the country.

 

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The step has been taken to safeguard the rights of Pakistani workers overseas who are often exploited by Pakistan-based fake recruitment agents.  

The UAE and Pakistan recently signed an MoU to ensure a legal and risk-free working environment for the Pakistani workforce upon arrival in the UAE.

The Employment Job Offer will be signed by both parties prior to the worker's departure from Pakistan. The job offer will clearly state the rights and obligations of the worker and the employer. In addition, it will provide the basis for the employment contract to be registered in the UAE.

As per Article 6 of the MoU, in case of disputes between the worker and employer, if no amicable settlement is reached within six weeks of the complaint filed by the complainant, it will be referred to the judicial authorities for resolution.  

Besides, both governments will undertake joint collaborative programmmes and activities, including pre-departure and post-arrival educational initiatives, to make the workers aware of the contract employment cycle.

Pakistani workers in the UAE are entitled to a minimum wage of Dh800 along with accommodation and food and must be covered by medical insurance as per the UAE law.

The two governments have also agreed to establish a joint committee to implement this MoU. It will meet regularly to monitor and evaluate/assess the implementation of this MoU.

The MoU aims to institutionalise the collaborative administration of contractual employment of Pakistani workers in the UAE, through the use of information technology, exchange of information and continuing studies in the area of labour.

This MoU is an important step forward in streamlining the contractual employment regime for Pakistani workers and protect their rights through institutionalised mechanisms, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari.

In a tweet, he said: "It (the MoU) will ease remittance process. It will evolve a mechanism for early resolution of disputes with employers/providing legal assistance."

Last month, Khaleej Times raised the issue of the illegal recruitment of security guards, some of whom were briefly deputed to work in the emirate's malls, following which the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources (MOPHR) cancelled the operational licences of a number of recruitment agents in Pakistan.

A notice was also issued by Bukhari in this regard that pointed out that the hiring was done without the permission of the Directorate General Bureau of Immigration and Overseas Employment in Pakistan. A website titled www.gulfvisajobs.com was subsequently blocked by Pakistan's regulatory authority.

MOPHR has also recently started an awareness campaign for Pakistanis seeking jobs overseas and asked them to verify the status of authorised recruitment agencies on the www.beoe.gov.pk website before accepting job offers abroad.

The MoU was signed by Nasser Bin Thani Al Hameli, UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, and Tahir Hussain Andrabi, Acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, on the margins of the ongoing 108th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, in the presence of senior officials of both countries.

Welcoming the move, a number of Pakistani expats said that it was high time that such a step was taken by the Pakistan government.

"If this step was taken before I was fooled by fake recruitment agents, my money would have been saved and not suffered so much," said Shah Faisal, who recently returned to Pakistan after spending months together in Dubai where he was promised a fake job as a security guard. "This is a good step," he added.

Mohammed Naeem, a Dubai-based banker, said that it was a commendable step by the Pakistan government.

"I am really happy that the government is finally thinking about the welfare of overseas Pakistanis," he said. "This step is going to resolve many issues as the root cause is being tackled," he added.

Salient features

- Pakistanis coming to the UAE will sign an Employment Job Offer with the UAE-based employer before landing in the country

- The job offer will clearly state the rights and obligations of the worker and the employer.

- It will not be a job contract but provide the basis for the employment contract to be registered in the UAE.

- In case of disputes, if no amicable settlement is reached within six weeks of the complaint filed by the complainant, it will be referred to the judicial authorities to resolve the conflict between the worker and employer.

- Pre-departure and post-arrival educational programmes will also be undertaken to make the workers aware of the contract employment cycle.

By Asma Ali Zain


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