Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The UAE Ministry of Labor has reduced the deposit expatriates pay to bring in domestic help to AED2,000

The fee for expatriates to sponsor domestic workers in Dubai has been reduced to from AED5,000 to AED2,000 - matching the deposit Emiratis pay for sponsoring domestic help, Gulf News reported.
According to a senior official from the Ministry of Interior, expatriates used to pay a AED5,000 deposit plus an additional AED5,000 to cover medical and visa costs.
“The deposit will now be refunded only when the domestic helper visa is cancelled and when she leaves the country,” Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of the Dubai Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs told Gulf News.
These government incentives could be an attempt to maintain the number of domestic workers in the country, amid the financial crisis.
At the same time, the changes include an amendment that would see expatriates being refunded only when domestic workers were issued their residency visa, which is valid for one year only.
This could be problematic for sponsors since it is not uncommon for workers to run away. Both Emirati and expatriate sponsors stand to lose a lot of money if their domestic workers run away.Housemaids abscond for a variety of reasons; the most-often cited being abuse and mistreatment.
Interestingly, domestic workers in the emirates are not covered under the provisions of the labor law like other workers; their problems are considered as either immigration or police matters. And when there’s a conflict between a housekeeper and his or her employer, most workers are convinced the law is on the sponsors’ side.
It is unsurprising, then, that most domestic workers choose to runaway, in spite of losing their employment rights as a result of absconding.
It seems to Kipp the system needs more than mere fee adjustments