10 legal rights of every expatriate worker in the UAE


A campaign to educate new workers about their legal rights upon their arrival in Dubai was launched at Dubai airport on Thursday.

Held under the slogan ‘Know your right,’ the campaign was officially launched by Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, previously known as the Ministry of Labour.

These are some of the rights of every expatriate worker in the UAE :

  1. You are entitled to keep possession of all your personal identification documents once your residency permit is issued.
  2. If you are asked to sign a contract with different terms and conditions, even if you are advised that the changes are of advantage to you, report immediately to the nearest Labour Office, as contract substitution is illegal.
  3. If your employer fails to present you with a contract or provide you with work, the Labour Office will assist you in finding alternative employment.
  4. If your employer fails to present you with a work contract within one week of your arrival, report to the nearest Labour Office.
  5. To avoid violating the law, do not accept other employment without first reporting to a Labour Office.
  6. UAE law requires your employer to pay the costs of your recruitment and deployment including residency permit.
  7. Your contract must match your job offer, and you should keep a copy of your signed contract.
  8. You have the right to leave your job at any time, but be aware of your contractual obligations.
  9. The termination of your contract can be ended by the employer or the employee, and it can be by mutual consent.
  10. It is important for employees to follow the required legal steps for terminating a contract, as the Labour Office can help recover any dues that are owed to the employee and arrange placement in alternative employment if eligible to obtain a new work permit.

Image : A.K Kallouche/Gulf News

A kiosk, including booklets and brochures in five different languages — Arabic, English, Hindi, Urdu and Malayalam, has been placed at the exit gate of Dubai’s Terminal 3, to raise awareness about labour laws among foreign workers entering the country for the first time.

The booklets include legal guidelines to inform workers about their rights during the period before and after arriving in the country.

It also lists their rights and obligations while on duty, gives specific instructions on how to move to a new employer, and explains how to approach labour disputes.

Workers can also collect a photo at the photography machine placed at the kiosk, to document their first couple of hours in Dubai.

The campaign aims to ensure that newly adapted decrees are implemented, including those that refer to labour contracts approved by the ministry, said Ghobash at the opening.

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