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Officials with the Ministry of Interior say there has been no increase in the security deposit needed to hire a maid within the UAE.
Contrary to media reports, the security deposit remains at Dh2,000 and is refundable when the maid completes her work contract, the work visa expires and they return to her home country, said a senior official at the Department of Residency and Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday.
The safety deposit will be returned once the visa is cancelled, the official at the Department of Residency and Foreign Affairs in the ministry told Gulf News.
The fees are applicable if a resident has to hire a new driver, housemaid, chef, nanny or any other domestic help, the official said.
In addition, a yearly non-refundable fee of Dh5,000 must be paid to the ministry for hiring the domestic worker.
According to the UAE law, a standard labour contract is binding on the domestic workers and their employers.
A copy of this document must be provided to the worker and should include an end-of-service gratuity, in addition to the monthly salary. The workers are entitled to one day off per week.
The contract cannot be valid for more than two years and has to be signed by the employment agency and the employer. It should include the date of employment, the job description and the wages among other details.
Additionally, domestic workers may be subjected to a six-month probation period.
Recently, residents expressed concern over the increasing fees being required by recruitment agencies that offer domestic helpers to the country's residents. Therefore, a motion was passed at the Federal National Council last year to ensure that this hike be limited, by signing agreements with the countries that export them.
As of 2012, some of the highlights of the new regulations in hiring domestic help included that the weekly day off be fully paid or that a day in lieu be given to workers if they were required to work on that day, or that the day's payment is received. A typical annual holiday of two weeks which can be carried forward to the following year if an employee failed to make use of them.
Workers have the right to withdraw their contracts if their employers inflict sexual or physical abuse. Employers cannot allow their domestic workers to do paid work with a third party without the ministry's consent.
Upon the expiration of the contract, employers have to settle their workers' dues within 10 days. In case of the death of an employee, employers must repatriate the body to the worker's home country.
Employers need not provide severance pay if the employees are absent from work for more than 30 days.
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Source: Nada Al Taher, Staff Reporter, gulfnews.com