Online services for domestic workers
The UAE Government provides specific services for the benefit of domestic workers. Services range from providing dedicated services centres to offering online platform for raising queries and complaints. Find more links to online services for domestic workers on the website of MoHRE and the website of TAMM.
Regulations on the employment of domestic workers
Federal Decree Law No. 9 of 2022 Concerning Domestic Workers (PDF, 806 KB) regulates the recruitment and employment of domestic workers in the UAE. It prohibits the following:
- the employment of anyone under the age 18
- discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, religion and nationality
- sexual harassment, whether verbal or physical
- forced labour or trafficking
- exposure to physical harm
- assignment of tasks that are not covered under the contract.
Note: Federal Decree Law No. 21 of 2023 Amending Certain Provisions of Federal Decree Law No.9 of 2022 Concerning Domestic Workers (PDF, 147 KB), will come inti effect on 1 January 2024.
Related resolutions on domestic workers:
Who are domestic workers?
There are 19 occupations that fall within the scope of employment of domestic workers, namely:
- Falcon care-taker
- Farm worker/grower
- Personal trainer/coach
- Private tutor
- Home nurse
- Personal assistant
- Private agricultural engineer
- Personal/family driver.
Domestic workers services centres
Find a list of domestic workers services centres
that are approved by Mohre.
Entitlements of the domestic workers
As per the Decree Law, domestic workers are entitled to:
- payment of wages, as set out in the standard contract, within 10 days from the day they are due
- ·one day of paid rest per week
- 12 hours of rest per day, including 8 hours of consecutive rest
- 30 days of paid annual leave
- a round-trip ticket home every 2 years
- 30 days of sick leave per year
- possession of their personal identification papers such as passports, IDs etc.
Obligations of the recruitment office towards the domestic workers
The recruitment office has the following obligations towards the domestic workers:
- providing the worker with information regarding the type, nature of the work required and the wage
- proving that the worker is physically, psychologically and professionally fit
- conducting the required medical examinations of the worker within no more than 30 days prior to his/her entry into the UAE
- educating them about the customs and traditions of the UAE’s society
- providing them a decent equipped temporary accommodation
- treating them with respect
- making them aware of their rights and direct them to the proper channels in the event that their rights or freedom are violated
- providing the employer with any documentation that proves the payment of wages to the worker
- not to demand or receive any commission or financial reward from the workers to bring them to work in the UAE, or for carrying out the process to start working in the country.
In the event of violations of the conditions by the recruitment office, the Decree Law stipulates that an alternative worker should be provided, or a refund of the recruitment fees should be made to the employer, in addition to a compensation for any potential damages due to a breach of contract.
Employers must not hire any domestic worker unless he/she has a valid licence to work. They are required to enter into an employment contract with the worker in accordance with the unified standard contract mandated by MoHRE. The worker must receive a copy of the contract.
The employment contract should include the specified period of recruitment and the basic rights and obligations that the employer shall be committed to, in terms of the domestic worker’s type of work and salary.
It should specify the relevant financial obligations of the employer to bring the worker from his/her country to the UAE, as well as the recruitment office’s fees.
Probation should not extend more than six months.
Obligations of the employers towards the domestic workers
Employers must abide with the terms of the employment contract, in addition to other obligations which include providing:
- the facilities needed for the worker to perform his/her duties effectively
- appropriate accommodation
- meals and clothing
- timely payment of remuneration
- medical care or health insurance
- respect and safety
- compensation for work injuries and occupational diseases.
Obligations of the domestic worker
Domestic workers are required to follow the obligations outlined in employment contracts, in addition to the following:
- perform their duties under the supervision of the employer and in compliance with the provisions of employment contract
- maintain a high standard of care and diligence while performing their duties
- refrain from absenteeism without valid reason
- ·observe the customs and traditions of the UAE’s community
- comply with the employer's instructions regarding the completion of the agreed work
- care for and maintain the items in their possession or dispose by following the necessary safekeeping procedures
- respect the privacy of the workplace
- keep work tools/items inside the workplace and in their designated locations at all times
- provide necessary aid and assistance in the event of disasters and hazards that threaten the workplace and its occupants.
Settlement of disputes
In the event of a dispute between the employer and the domestic worker, and the inability to settle it amicably, the case must be referred to MoHRE. If the matter is not resolved within two weeks, then it will be referred to a court, with MoHRE’s recommendations. Cases filed by workers are exempt from court fees at all stages of litigation and must be heard in a speedy and prompt manner.
Penalties for violating the domestic workers’ law
The tables below list penalties for recruitment offices and employers who fail to comply with domestic workers’ laws and regulations.
Source: Cabinet Resolution No. 106 of 2022 Pertaining to the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree Law No.9 of 2022 Concerning Domestic Workers.
Find out FAQs about employing domestic workers, and the licensing and regulation of domestic workers’ recruitment offices.
Read news coverage on MoHRE and WAM.
Updated on 22 Nov 2023