The UAE announces good news for all expatriate workers and residents and presents a new model for the rights of expatriates


A National Human Rights Action Plan has already been announced in the UAE, which includes significant efforts to protect and promote workers’ rights. This plan includes a set of procedures and measures aimed at promoting and guaranteeing workers’ rights in the country.

Key efforts to protect workers’ rights in the UAE include:

Legislation and laws: A comprehensive legal system has been put in place to regulate the work relationship and protect the rights of workers, in line with international human rights standards.

Federal Decree No. 9 of 2022: This decree-law was issued to regulate domestic service workers, and aims to provide a clear legal framework that protects the rights of workers and defines the obligations of the parties concerned.

Awareness and educational campaigns: Awareness and educational campaigns and programs are organized to educate workers of their rights and duties, through the distribution of publications and educational materials and communication with the community.

Communication and Complaints Platforms: Digital platforms have been established that allow expatriate workers to submit complaints and reports regarding any violations of their rights, and these complaints are dealt with quickly and fairly.

International Cooperation: The UAE seeks to cooperate with international organizations, governmental and non-governmental institutions, to exchange experiences and knowledge, and to enhance the protection of workers’ rights at the global level.

These are some of the efforts made by the UAE to protect and promote workers’ rights, and through which it seeks to improve working and living conditions for workers in the country.

How did the UAE guarantee labor rights?

The UAE has ensured the provision of digital services to expatriate workers, aimed at facilitating the submission of labor complaints. In addition, it issued a directive to inform workers of their rights and duties under the title “Know Your Rights”, which includes seven important points for workers:

The worker must sign the work contract upon his arrival in the UAE.

The employer is prohibited from charging the worker with any fees or costs related to recruitment or employment, and it is not permissible to collect them from the worker in any way.

The worker must keep a copy of the job offer that he signed, and ensure that the terms and conditions of the work contract match the job offer in his country.

The worker must communicate with the competent authorities immediately in the event that the job opportunity agreed upon with the employer is not available, or in the event that he does not receive his wages in full and on time.

The worker has the right to leave his job at any time, provided that he is aware of his legal obligations.

The worker must keep his identification documents in a safe place.

In the event of any inquiries or problems, expatriate workers can contact the competent authorities to obtain the necessary assistance.

These are some of the important points included in the “Know Your Rights” guide issued by the UAE to educate expatriate workers about their rights and duties.

New laws and initiatives to protect the rights of expatriate workers

True, the UAE is among the largest destinations for foreign workers, and sets improving the protection of their rights as one of its national priorities, according to the official portal of the UAE government.

Being a member of the International Labor Organization, the Arab Labor Organization and other multilateral organizations focused on employment, the UAE seeks to be transparent and objective with regard to its obligations towards expatriate workers.

The UAE evaluates all aspects of work in the country, from the recruitment and employment process to the provision of adequate housing, with the aim of ensuring the rights of all expatriate workers and treating them with respect and equality, and enabling them to report labor disputes and incidents of mistreatment with ease and reliability.

The UAE prohibits imposing recruitment fees on workers and job candidates, and takes safe measures to protect them from dishonest recruitment agencies.

It also prohibits the confiscation of workers’ passports and does not require workers to obtain permission from their employer to leave the UAE.

Several notable steps have been taken by the UAE to protect workers’ rights, including the adoption of international treaties related to employment, as the UAE has agreed to several major ILO conventions related to workers’ rights.

The UAE has also approved many laws and decisions to regulate labor relations and define the rights and obligations of the parties in a balanced manner. Labor relations between the employee and the employer in the private sector are subject to Federal Decree No. 33 of 2021 regarding the organization of labor relations, known as the “UAE Labor Law.”

The law covers a range of articles dealing with labor issues such as employee rights, employment contracts, and labor dispute settlement.

The UAE is a world leader in workers’ rights

The UAE is among the countries that proposed 6 specific commitments to be adopted in the Global Compact for Migration.

One of the most prominent of these commitments is the application of labor recruitment procedures in accordance with international standards, including reducing the costs incurred by workers for their recruitment and working to ensure that no fees are imposed on them.

All workers should receive information about their rights and obligations before leaving their home countries and upon arrival, through the provision of comprehensive orientation and awareness programmes.

Safe and dignified working conditions must be ensured for all workers, especially domestic workers, with increased access to financing for people affected by natural disasters to protect them and prevent them from resorting to involuntary migration.

The Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) was held and worked closely with labor supplying countries to address the challenges facing expatriate workers from Asian countries to the Gulf region.

The Federal Domestic Workers Law was issued, which stipulates the principle of informed consent, and ensures the awareness and knowledge of domestic workers about the terms of the contract, the nature of work, the place of work, wages, and the daily and weekly rest period in accordance with the implementing regulations. The law requires that this be done before the worker is brought in and leaves his country.

Wage protection system

The UAE has adopted a wage protection system that guarantees the payment of wages to workers on the specified dates in accordance with Ministerial Resolution No. 346 of 2022, which amends some provisions of Ministerial Resolution No. 43 of 2022 regarding the wage protection system.

The insurance system for private sector employees has also been adopted to protect workers from any changes that may affect them, such as the bankruptcy of the company or its inability to pay their dues.

The UAE has passed laws and regulations to ensure the safety of workers at work sites, in addition to allocating more than $5 billion to ensure that labor accommodations comply with international standards.

Standardized labor contracts were also adopted and new policies were implemented guaranteeing workers’ rights, including their right to terminate contracts and the freedom to move to a new employer.

The UAE pays special attention to protecting women’s rights, achieving gender balance in the workplace, combating human trafficking in all its forms, and addressing this phenomenon at the regional and global levels. It also works to provide equal and fair job opportunities for people with disabilities (People of Determination).

Promoting workers’ rights in the UAE

Important measures taken by the UAE include the issuance of Federal Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the regulation of labor relations in the private sector, which aims to improve working conditions and provide flexible and diversified opportunities for workers. The law also prohibits physical, verbal, and sexual assaults, combats discrimination, and guarantees basic rights for workers such as paid vacation, rest, and health insurance.

Moreover, the UAE provides support and education to workers through workshops and accredited centers, and conducts regular inspections to ensure compliance with laws and penalize non-compliant employers. The UAE also aims to promote mental health and provide psychological support to workers.

It is important that the state continues to follow up on the implementation of measures, improve working conditions, and address any ongoing issues. The UAE’s efforts reflect its commitment to building a society in which everyone lives in safety, dignity and safety.

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