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Crackdown on Unlicensed Domestic Worker Recruitment Agencies in the UAE


Oct 16, 2023 #UAE

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has intensified its efforts to curb illegal domestic worker recruitment agencies by penalizing four establishments in Al Ain for operating without a license.

The crackdown on unlicensed recruitment agencies is a part of the UAE’s broader initiative to regulate the employment of domestic workers and safeguard the rights and welfare of both employers and employees.

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Penalties and Closure: The four recruitment agencies in Al Ain were slapped with a hefty fine of Dh50,000 each, and the MoHRE referred them to the public prosecution for their unlicensed operations. The Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi – Al Ain branch, sealed their premises with ‘closure’ signs.

To ensure the well-being of domestic workers previously associated with these unlicensed agencies, the ministry has provided temporary accommodation and facilitated their transfer to MoHRE-approved domestic worker recruitment establishments. This move ensures that these workers are legally employed and protected under UAE labor laws.

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Regulating the Domestic Worker Sector: The UAE has taken significant steps to regulate the domestic worker sector, aiming to establish fair employment practices and protect the rights of both employers and workers. Under federal law, Emiratis and expatriates are required to engage only with MoHRE-approved domestic worker recruitment agencies. The list of approved agencies is readily accessible on the ministry’s official website.

The MoHRE has actively conducted joint inspection campaigns in collaboration with various government entities, relying on proactive monitoring, community reports, and regular visits to verify that recruitment activities are exclusively carried out by authorized agencies. The crackdown on illegal establishments is part of the ongoing commitment to enforcement.

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The ministry is determined to ensure that domestic workers are treated fairly and in accordance with the law. Recent actions, such as the revocation of licenses for non-compliant agencies, underline the UAE’s commitment to uphold the rights and welfare of domestic workers.

Residents in the UAE are encouraged to report any illegal or unlicensed recruitment agencies to the ministry to help maintain a transparent and well-regulated domestic worker recruitment sector.

The UAE’s endeavors to regulate this sector serve as an essential step toward enhancing the rights and living conditions of domestic workers, who play a crucial role in the country’s households.

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