Jun 24, 2014

Legal View: Domestic workers outside purview of ‘Labour Law’

Legal View: Domestic workers outside purview of ‘Labour Law’

Visa for domestic workers is issued directly by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs(the immigration department).

I work for a family in Al Ain as driver on their sponsorship. I completed my first contract of two years and am into my second contract. I have done 18 months on this contract. Can I cancel my visa on my own if the sponsor does not cancel my visa? What can I do to take a new job in Dubai? I have an offer letter from a company which is valid for 30 days. Please advise.

It is understood that you are working as a driver for a family based in Al Ain and that you have already completed two and a half years with your current employer. It is presumed that your employment is subject to the conditions laid out in your contract/offer letter and that your employment is under the purview of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (the immigration department) in Al Ain.

Further to your questions, it may be noted here that employment related matters for domestic workers are outside the purview of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 Regulation of Labour Relations (the “Labour Law”) as visa for domestic workers is issued directly by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (the immigration department). Thus it may be advised that you may terminate your contract in accordance with the procedure mentioned in your employment contract.

In the event your employer does not wish to terminate your employment contract, you may also approach the office of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs at Al Ain for further information and assistance in this regard. The General Directorate may at its discretion, cancel your visa based on your application. Once the visa is cancelled you shall have a grace period of 30 days to exit the country. During this period you may look for a new employment.

However, if you already have a new offer of employment from Dubai you may avail the same. In order to take up the new employment you may follow up on the appropriate procedures from your prospective employer.

Alternatively, you may wait for your current visa to expire and upon its expiry do not renew it.

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