Urgent: The Ministry of Human Resources imposes severe penalties on expatriate labor recruitment offices, amounting to 600 thousand dirhams

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization has issued a directive urging companies, as well as national and resident families, to exclusively engage with domestic labor recruitment offices that have been officially approved and licensed by the Ministry.

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The purpose of this measure is to safeguard the rights of individuals and avail the advantages offered by these establishments, which adhere to regulations and oversight mechanisms for the protection of the rights of all stakeholders, as outlined in Federal Decree-Law No. 9 of 2022 about domestic service employees.
According to a press statement released by the Ministry today, it asserts its strong stance on addressing recruitment offices that engage in this activity without obtaining the requisite licenses from the Ministry, as mandated by legal frameworks. The Ministry further indicates that it is currently investigating complaints received from customers regarding offices that have obtained licenses in compliance with the law and its executive regulations. The Ministry emphasizes its commitment to safeguarding the rights of all parties involved.
consumers were extended an invitation by the Ministry to access its official website, to peruse the comprehensive roster of authorized and licensed offices. This information can be found on the "Services" page, specifically under the section titled "Approved Service Centres." Alternatively, consumers may also go to the Ministry's social media platforms and navigate to its designated "Bio" section for the aforementioned details.

The potential legal ramifications

The Ministry has issued a warning regarding the potential legal ramifications and societal and health hazards associated with citizen and resident families engaging with unaccredited offices. This is particularly concerning about the acquisition of untrained helpers and the absence of any assurances for the well-being of these helpers, except for those offered by offices that have been officially sanctioned by the Ministry.
The Ministry implements stringent and incremental administrative sanctions against licensed establishments that engage in legal infractions. The consequences for non-compliance encompass the suspension of services and revocation of the license for the offending establishment, commensurate with the degree of the infraction.
The attached list of administrative violations and penalties, as outlined in Cabinet Resolution No. 106 of 2022, pertains to the executive regulations of Federal Decree-Law No. 9 of 2022 concerning domestic service workers. This list specifies various financial fines that licensed recruitment offices may incur in the event of non-compliance with the aforementioned law. Notably, one such penalty entails a fine of 2,000 dirhams for each case of non-compliance. If the domestic labor recruitment office fails to comply with the regulations by not refunding the employer the entirety or a portion of the recruitment fee within the specified timeframe (which is two weeks from the domestic worker's return to the office or from the date of reporting their absence from work).
A penalty of 10,000 dirhams will be levied if the recruitment office engages in transactions with an employment agency, individual, office, or entity that lacks the necessary licensing within the country or the country from which the domestic worker is recruited. Furthermore, if the recruitment office engages with any external parties that are prohibited by the Ministry, the aforementioned penalty will also be imposed.
According to the regulations, a penalty of 5,000 dirhams per instance is imposed if the recruitment office collects any additional fees above what is specified in compliance with the relevant laws, regulations, and ministerial decisions.
The Ministry has officially verified that clients who utilize approved offices are entitled to a two-year guarantee on assistant workers in the event of their interruption or refusal to work. Additionally, a portion of the recruitment costs can be recovered if two specific cases occur during the post-trial period until the contract's expiration date. These cases include the worker canceling the contract. If an employee departs from their employment after the trial period without a valid justification, the costs incurred during the recruitment process are computed based on the remaining duration of the contract in months.

The packages offered by recruitment agencies that have been authorized and licensed by the Ministry.

Recruitment offices that have been authorized and licensed by the Ministry provide various packages tailored to the specific needs and requirements of employers, as well as citizen and resident families. One such package is the "traditional package," wherein the worker is registered under the employer's file and resides with them for the duration of the two-year contract period. During this period, the recruitment office ensures the availability of the assistant worker to the employer. Efforts are made to substitute the employee or recuperate the expenses associated with recruitment if any of the four scenarios arise within the initial six months of the contractual agreement, commonly referred to as the trial period. These scenarios encompass the worker terminating the contract without justifiable cause, voluntarily leaving employment without a valid reason, or demonstrating unsuitability for the position. In addition to his incapacity to fulfill his work responsibilities by the prescribed and mutually agreed-upon standards.

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